Carroll University receives $1 million grant to support STEM majors

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 2/13/2018

Categories: Applied Physics Biochemistry Chemistry Computer Science Grants and Research Mathematics University News

Chemistry student working in the lab

Carroll University received a five-year, $1 million National Science Foundation grant in support of the Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant project, “Carroll University Pro-STEM Initiative: Promoting STEM Retention through Self-Efficacy.”

The project will focus on providing financial and academic support to students majoring in STEM fields, particularly those who are required to take calculus, in order to increase retention and enrollment as well as provide financial assistance for those in need. Led by Dr. John Symms, associate professor of mathematics and Dr. Kathy Kramer, assistant professor of education, the program will fund $660,000 in scholarships for approximately 128 students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in applied physics, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science and mathematics.

Additionally, a research team will examine how integrating focused instruction in general education courses, supporting faculty, and implementing peer-led study groups and community building activities can better promote persistence in STEM majors at Carroll and prepare students to meet the needs of today’s workforce. As part of the general education, students will come to understand the type of learner they are and how to persevere when courses challenge them, while faculty work to determine how their approach to teaching can best support the students. 

“This grant provides us with the opportunity to greatly impact the areas of STEM in both educational and professional ways,” said Kramer. “We know that STEM programs present a rigorous curriculum for our students and we’re enthusiastic to learn whether the various components of the effort are effective at improving retention in those programs.”

At the end of the program, faculty will publish and present their findings to aid other small schools in increasing their completion rates.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1741959. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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