Student Centered Active Learning and Assessment Reform (SCALAR)
The College of Science and Technology received a four-year, $1.6 million award in 2013 from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Historically Black College and Universities Program (HBCU-UP). The funded project is entitled “Student Centered Active Learning and Assessment Reform (SCALAR)” and is intended to enhance the overall quality of the STEM educational experience at Florida A&M University (FAMU) by revamping the institutional approach for educating STEM students in lower-division courses.
The SCALAR project leverages the unique opportunities afforded by the newly founded College of Science and Technology to revamp the campus-wide approach to STEM education to increase pipeline flow. The project targets critical lower-division gatekeeper courses to facilitate transformational change across the entire university landscape.
Specific program components include: a) the redesign of course curricula to include a specific instructional focus on using active, collaborative learning strategies to teach STEM concepts; b) an integrated, comprehensive assessment strategy that will be continuously used to modify the instructional model in order to optimize student learning; c) the creation of a STEM faculty development program to facilitate faculty use of pedagogical best practices; d) the development of a STEM seminar series, which will be facilitated by leading scientists from institutions across the country; and e) the development of a centralized campus-wide STEM student learning center.
1) An increase in the number of FAMU students who pursue STEM careers.
2) Improvement in the academic preparedness of FAMU students so they are better equipped for the rigor of upper-division STEM major courses, graduate school, and the global marketplace3) An increase in the retention rate of students in STEM programs.4) An increase of student engagement with the educational experience in lower division STEM courses.
5) An increase in professional development opportunities provided to STEM faculty to learn about teaching best practices.
Principal Investigator: Maurice Edington, VP for Strategic Planning, Analysis and Institutional Effectiveness
Co-PIs: Lewis Johnson (Assistant Dean), Charles Weatherford (Assoc. VP for Research), Desmond Stephens (Associate Professor of Mathematics), Shanalee Gallimore (Project Manager), Carol Scarlett (Associate Professor of Physics), Jesse Edwards (Professor of Chemistry), Hongmei Chi (Associate Professor of Computer Science), Virginia Gottschalk (Associate Professor of Biology), Serena Roberts (Director, Center for Academic Success, College of Education), Mark Howse (Director of University Assessment)
Project Manager: Shanalee Gallimore
Participating Departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Dr. Maurice Edington, VP for Strategic Planning, Analysis and Institutional Effectiveness
Florida A&M University
105 University Commons
Tallahassee, FL 32307