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Title: The (STEM)2 Network: a multi-institution, multidisciplinary approach to transforming undergraduate STEM education
Abstract Background Transforming the culture of STEM higher education to be more inclusive and help more students reach STEM careers is challenging. Herein, we describe a new model for STEM higher education transformation, the Sustainable, Transformative Engagement across a Multi-Institution/Multidisciplinary STEM, (STEM) 2 , “STEM-squared”, Network. The Network embraces a pathways model, as opposed to a pipeline model, to STEM career entry. It is founded upon three strong theoretical frameworks: Communities of Transformation, systems design for organizational change, and emergent outcomes for the diffusion of innovations in STEM education. Currently composed of five institutions—three private 4-year universities and two public community colleges—the Network capitalizes on the close geographic proximity and shared student demographics to effect change across the classroom, disciplinary, institutional, and inter-institutional levels. Results The (STEM) 2 Network has increased the extent to which participants feel empowered to be change agents for STEM higher education reform and has increased collaboration across disciplines and institutions. Participants were motivated to join the Network to improve STEM education, to improve the transfer student experience, to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines and institutions, and because they respected the leadership team. Participants continue to engage in the Network because of the collaborations created, opportunities more » for professional growth, opportunities to improve STEM education, and a sense that the Network is functioning as intended. Conclusion The goal to increase the number and diversity of people entering STEM careers is predicated on transforming the STEM higher education system to embrace a pathways model to a STEM career. The (STEM) 2 Network is achieving this by empowering faculty to transform the system from the inside. While the systemic transformation of STEM higher education is challenging, the (STEM) 2 Network directly addresses those challenges by bridging disciplinary and institutional silos and leveraging the reward structure of the current system to support faculty as they work to transform this very system. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1919614
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10285873
Journal Name:
International Journal of STEM Education
Volume:
8
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2196-7822
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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