Five-years of undergraduate STEM Education Reform at Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, and Skagit Valley College: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

Thursday 2:15pm - 2:45pm Brighton 3/4
Oral Presentation

Ed Geary, Western Washington University
Shannon Warren, Western Washington University
Change at the Core (C-Core) is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, undergraduate STEM Education reform project at Western Washington University (WWU), Whatcom Community College (WCC), and Skagit Valley College (SVC). Over the past five years over 100 faculty, across all STEM disciplines have begun the transition form teacher-centered, information transfer models of learning to active, student-centered, inclusive models of learning. These changes are impacting faculty practices and attitudes, and altering the ways students engage in learning across a wide variety of STEM courses. The C-Core project has also led to revisions to introductory and major course sequences; changes in Review, Tenure, and Promotion processes; an increases in departmental/college conversations about teaching and learning; and greater understanding of and attention to equity, inclusion, and diversity issues. Changes are also being made/considered in strategic planning, hiring, and course evaluation documents, as well as requests for more flexible student-centered learning spaces. This session will focus on our model for change: the key decisions, processes, collaborations, we made, what worked and what didn't work, and how we recruited champions at the Institutional, College, and Department/Division levels to help us overcome barriers to change. We will also discuss the challenges of change including uneven uptake of active learning strategies by faculty and differential rates of change between departments. The session will end with our thoughts on next steps and institutionalizing the changes we have made.