A team composed of faculty and administrators at UNO was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support faculty teaching general education science, mathematics, and social science courses.
The $298,276 grant will fund research that will identify the teaching practices, concerns, and needs of UNO faculty and dual-enrollment high school teachers. The research will also identify structural barriers to learning in general education courses.
The data obtained will drive future action and allocation of resources to improve retention in, and recruitment into, the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline.
This project will provide the data needed for data-based decision making, while also ensuring that faculty on the front lines have a clear and loud voice in the decision making process.
- Christopher Moore, PhD, professor of physics
“Implementation of a broad range of research-verified teaching practices has been shown to improve course metrics and institutional metrics, including student retention,” Moore says. “However, university administrators face a dearth of information about the actual teaching practices used by their faculty, and therefore must attempt to blindly provide support, resources, and intervention. This project will provide the data needed for data-based decision making, while also ensuring that faculty on the front lines have a clear and loud voice in the decision making process.”
The grant is funded through the NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. Moore is joined on the project by Julie Pelton, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, Tracie Reding, Ed.D., STEM Education and Outreach Coordinator, Karen Hein, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, and Sarah Edwards, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor for Curriculum & Programs. Senior personnel on the grant include David Boocker, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Christine Cutucache, Ph.D., Director of the STEM TRAIL Center, and Matt Tracy, Ph.D., Director of General Education and Dual-Enrollment.
“Sustaining high quality teaching requires actively supporting faculty and looking at metrics that go deeper than just the percentage of grades of D, F or W,” Moore says. “In this project, we’re going to ask our faculty, in a systematic way, what resources they need to continue making UNO an exceptional educational value.”