National Academies' Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education: Directions and Opportunities

Thursday 1:15pm - 2:45pm Fountainview
Thematic Symposium

Ann Austin, Michigan State University
Mark Rosenberg, Florida International University
Kerry Brenner, The National Academies
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder

The National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has initiated a multi-year Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education to focus on the future of undergraduate STEM education and help drive a national effort on how best to educate learners to be informed members of society and/or participate in the future STEM workforce. The work of the Roundtable recognizes and responds to the rapidly changing social and economic environment, including dramatic shifts in student demographics, modes of learning, technology, STEM knowledge, commitments to equity and inclusion, and how we think about work.

The Roundtable's work in advancing systemic reform in undergraduate STEM education focuses on framing issues and opportunities, and identifying, drawing upon, and connecting existing efforts in order to help the community as a whole identify gaps and build momentum for action by stakeholders. Specifically, the Roundtable is identifying the key levers, drivers, and disruptors in the higher education system where actions can have the most impact.

Key partners in the work of the Roundtable include faculty, students, department chairs, campus leaders, campus administrators, university systems administrators, education researchers, funders, professional societies in the STEM disciplines, associations of colleges and universities, STEM employers, policy makers, influencers, and the general public.

This symposium has four goals:

(1) to introduce the purpose of the Roundtable and provide an overview of the first year of its work;

(2) to share highlights of the Roundtable's analysis of current challenges, gaps, and opportunities pertaining to systemic change efforts in undergraduate STEM education;

(3) to overview potential strategies and interventions identified by the Roundtable as opportunities for significant impact toward transformative change; and

(4) to engage attendees in discussion and possible collaboration with the work of the Roundtable.


1:15-1:45 pm Presentation on the purpose, organization, and work of the Roundtable and its work during its first year.

In particular, the presentation will highlight (a) the Roundtable's analysis of critical factors pressing for change; (b) the specific reasons systemic approaches are needed in envisioning and enacting transformative change in STEM undergraduate education; (c) the Roundtable's analysis of major issues, gaps, and opportunities that require attention within a systemic approach toward change in STEM undergraduate education; and (d) specific initiatives that the Roundtable would like to advance in collaboration with partners.

1:45-2:15 pm Symposium participants will break into small groups to discuss the issues and possible tasks raised by the panel and then address two questions:

- What should the Roundtable emphasize and be attentive to?

- What resources, contacts, or programs should the Roundtable be aware of?

- What are your overall responses to the Roundtable emphases?

- Are there other issues or levers for change that the Roundtable should address?

2:15-2:45 pm Brief report from each break out group; followed by full group discussion.

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