Active Learning in Undergraduate STEM Education

Understanding the benefits of active learning strategies.

Hispanic students enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions at lower rates than their non-Hispanic counterparts, and evidence suggests that more awareness and engagement in STEM fields in school can help diversify the profession.

The Active Learning in Undergraduate STEM Education project aims to increase student success through greater engagement in the classroom. Support from the National Science Foundation in the form of an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research will underwrite research to measure the impact of implementing active-learning strategies in STEM courses. Active-learning strategies include a wide range of activities that encourage students to interact with and respond to ideas presented in coursework. 

Nineteen community college faculty members will be paired with UC San Diego graduate students to put into place teaching practices that help engage learners. Over the two-year project, researchers will assess the impacts of implementing active-learning strategies at two-year, Hispanic-serving institutions in San Diego and Imperial Counties:

  • Cuyamaca College
  • Grossmont College 
  • Imperial Valley College
  • MiraCosta College
  • Palomar College
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego Miramar College
  • Southwestern College

Faculty members and graduate students will receive professional development that ultimately seeks to improve student completion and broaden participation in STEM careers. 


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE 1645083. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Capacity Building Workshop for Preparing Proposals to the National Science Foundation S-STEM Program

On June 5-7, 2019, The Active Learning in Undergraduate STEM Education project hosted a two and a half day workshop to train colleges on developing compelling funding proposals for the National Science Foundation. The primary goal of the workshop was to facilitate submission of competitive S-STEM proposals in 2020 from the colleges that participate.

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