included: -Replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses or assignments -Creating partnerships among stakeholders to diversity pathways in STEM careers -Creating postsecondary mathematics education programs to address the math gap -Increasing partnerships with business to create sustainable change in undergraduate STEM education -Disseminating and adopting teaching methods that are validated models for increasing skills-based learning and inquiry in STEM fields. Widespread training for teachers in STEM education practice has been supported through the NSF’s WIDER program, where funding of $20 million was authorized for 2012. Measuring the intersection of faculty growth and student success is part of the evidence based research the grant program hopes to uncover in an effort to better engage students in the successful completion of STEM programs. Another strategy that has been the focus of considerable discussion in New York pivots on building opportunities for research by community college students. This recommendation is echoed in the “Engage to Excel” report, which recommends that cross-institutional research programs and communities could be funded through redefinition of the Department of Education’s $1 billion Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program and by sharpening the focus of Federal investments in minority institutions. Developing math skills as a gateway to STEM education and STEM careers is considered to be a fundamental challenge at all levels of education. Embracing computational and
conceptual mathematics as a useful skill is fundamental to the preparation of inquisitive and problem-solving mindsets. Overcoming the cultural fear of mathematics and providing a system for math achievement by all students can remedy skills and achievement gaps needed for STEM professions which is viewed as a deficiency in U.S. education. To change this mathematics “bottleneck” – PCAST has proposed creating: - Summer and bridge programs focusing on math
sets needed to enter STEM enterprise.
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One of the key ideas still in formulation is the concept of a Research Passport which will help students develop their expertise and experience in research-oriented facilities. Dr. Killeen noted that there are abundant STEM pathways at the present time, but that the programs lack “coherence” in terms of what students perceive as a science or STEM identity. Strategies include:
- Continuing remediation focused on disciplinebased problems, such as math skills specific to physics, computer science or engineering applications - Developing a master teacher corps to help disseminate successful practices in teacher education programs. By adapting the many STEM grant agencies and platforms to address these needs, PCAST recommends that funds could be diverted from the substantial enterprise of remediation to programs that build science inquiry, science collaboration, research opportunity, partnerships and math skills, allowing rising high school juniors and seniors to overcome these learning deficits prior to college. Dr. Timothy Killeen, President of the Research Foundation and Vice Chancellor for Research of The State University of New York, also addressed the SUNY STEM Conference as a keynote speaker building on the theme of broadening and deepening participation in STEM. Fusing study with experience, Dr. Killeen recommended scaling up STEM interventions substantially to increase the preparation and graduation of students with the skill-
- Creating a discovery phase of education involving early research, active learning and learning communities - Helping sustain matriculation in STEM programs by allowing students to be involved creatively in entrepreneurship and start-up endeavors - Using the SOARS model in atmospheric and related sciences to create student opportunities with mentorship, research and learning communities. One of SUNY’s strengths in addressing the tremendous shortage of STEM graduates lies with the “systemness” concept and the Power of SUNY. His formula for scaling up the enterprise-driven model for STEM education was expressed as:
Members of the STEM Conference Committee: L-R back row: Elizabeth Carrature, ODEI; Letitia Thomas, University at Buffalo; Veronica Henry, Farmingdale State College; Tamu Chambers, Hudson Valley Community College; Stacie Nunes, SUNY New Paltz; Bonnie Proctor, Enrollment Marketing; and Joseph Skrivanek, Purchase College. Front row, l-r: Barbara Hardman,ODEI; Barbara Streets, SUNY Oswego; Edelmira Reynoso,ODEI; Carlos Medina, ODEI and Nina Leonhardt, Suffolk Community College. (not pictured: Phillip Ortiz, Empire State College and David Ferguson, Stony Brook University).
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D I V E RS I T Y C O U N TS