Sacramento State has received a comprehensive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, thanks to a collaborative effort by the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.
Professors Jennifer A. Lundmark (Biological Sciences), Jeffrey A. Paradis (Chemistry) and Lynn M. Tashiro (Physics and Astronomy, and the Center for Teaching and Learning) are the principal investigators on the five-year, $2 million project, “The Sacramento State PASS Program: Peer-Assisted Student Success.” Professor Ellen Berg (Sociology) will serve as the project evaluator.
The PASS program seeks to increase the retention and graduation rates of students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program consists of an innovative, multifaceted approach based on early intervention and advising, a Commit to Study program, and a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program designed to provide students with the skills and resources needed to succeed as STEM majors.
The project could impact classroom pedagogy, increase the number of students interested in becoming science teachers and add to the research literature with regard to understanding the factors that cause students to be at risk of leaving the STEM disciplines.
This award follows on the heels of two other NSF grants totaling more than $1.6 million. They will provide scholarships to Sacramento State students working toward teaching careers in high-needs schools and will ultimately create more math and science instructors for those middle and high schools.
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– Alan Miller