Elevating Student Experience to Transform STEM Education

Thursday 1:10 pm – 1:35 pm PT / 2:10 pm – 2:35 pm MT / 3:10 pm – 3:35 pm CT / 4:10 pm – 4:35 pm ET Online
Concurrent Session

Laurel Hartley, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
Sushilla Knottenbelt, University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Over a decade of research on learning mindsets – such as belonging, growth mindset, and purpose – demonstrates that positive experiences of community, belonging, and academic support on campus and in the classroom can increase a student's likelihood of persisting through academic challenges toward graduation. This is especially important for students from structurally disadvantaged or numerically underrepresented groups, who are paying particular attention to signals from the institution, their professors, and the other students about whether they, or people like them, belong on campus, and are capable of succeeding. But how do we apply this scholarship to create systemic change, particularly now as students face unprecedented strain and disruption to learning?

The Student Experience Project (SEP) is a national network of scholars and campuses seeking to increase equity in college success by transforming students' experience in STEM introductory courses. The SEP has engaged over 150 faculty in a continuous improvement approach to introduce new classroom practices and gather frequent student feedback on the learning environment in order to improve student experiences. Since this work began in Spring 2020, SEP campuses have expanded participation from small communities of STEM faculty to entire courses, departments, and soon, colleges. During this session, campus leaders from two urban-serving universities participating in the Student Experience Project will share successful strategies for driving this systemic change. Participants will learn about scalable practices they can use to support their own efforts to transform STEM education - whether in-person or in virtual settings.