Undergraduate Education Program
Whittier College is at the threshold of a new era in STEM education as it prepares for the opening of its completely renovated Science & Learning Center in September 2016. This award will greatly enhance efforts already underway to improve the STEM curriculum by integrating research more fully into the 1st and 2nd-year experiences of students pursuing STEM majors. Critical to this effort is: 1) supplying needed scientific equipment for the seven departments housed in the newly renovated structure; 2) funding faculty and course development; and 3) supporting a summer undergraduate research program for 1st and 2nd year students utilizing the new equipment and providing new research opportunities especially for those from underrepresented groups – the students who are most at risk for dropping out of STEM majors very early in their college careers. The goal is to increase the overall number of STEM majors, including those from underrepresented groups, and improve their retention through graduation. Increasing these numbers and developing a model program employing high impact practices that can be used at other institutions will help meet an acute regional and national need for STEM graduates.
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