Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (337127)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Next deadline: Aug 31, 2022

Later deadlines: Feb 8, 2023

Grant amount: US $1 - US $3,000,000

Fields of work: STEM Education Education - Higher Education Hispanic and Latino Services

Applicant type: College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

Overview:

The goals of the HSI (Hispanic Serving Institutions) program are to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students pursuing associate's or baccalaureate degrees in STEM. Achieving these, given the diverse nature and context of the HSIs, requires additional strategies that support building capacity at HSIs through innovative approaches: to incentivize institutional and community transformation; and to promote fundamental research (i) on engaged student learning, (ii) about what it takes to diversify and increase participation in STEM effectively, and (iii) that improves our understanding of how to build institutional capacity at HSIs. Intended outcomes of the HSI Program include broadening participation of students that are historically underrepresented in STEM and expanding students’ pathways to continued STEM education and integration into the STEM workforce.

The HSI program is aligned with the National Science Board's vision for, and the NSF's commitment to, a more diverse and capable science and engineering workforce.1,2 HSIs are heterogeneous and unique in many respects.3Some HSIs have well-established undergraduate STEM programs while others are just beginning to create STEM programs. Whether 2-year or 4-year, public or private, the HSIs serve a wide range of students with a diverse set of educational backgrounds. The need for tailored initiatives, policies, and practices (mindful of socio-cultural awareness) should meet the students' needs and institutions' expectations while advancing undergraduate students at HSIs toward higher levels of academic achievement in STEM. This is the motivation behind three HSI program tracks:

  • Track 1: Planning or Pilot Projects (PPP);
  • Track 2: Implementation and Evaluation Projects (IEP); and
  • Track 3: Institutional Transformation Projects (ITP). Track 3, ITP,is motivated by work on organizational identities for HSIs that suggest that organizational culture and identity play a key role in the success of an HSI in promoting student success in STEM.

The HSI program accepts proposals in the following tracks:

Track 1: The Planning or Pilot Projects (PPP) track provides a funding opportunity for institutions that are new to NSF5 or are Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs6), including community colleges. The PPP has been designed to link with the other two tracks. The PPP track seeks to enhance undergraduate STEM education and build capacity at less-resourced institutions and to increase these institutions' ability to compete for NSF funding from other programs. Planning projects in this track undertake the activities necessary to develop a future HSI program Track 2 or Track 3 proposal submission. Pilot projects in this track may be carried out to achieve a short-term, well-defined goal to enhance the availability of high-quality undergraduate STEM education at the HSI and gather preliminary data for futureHSI program Track 2 or Track 3 proposals.

Importantly, Pilot projects may also develop fundamental STEM education research capacity on student learning at HSIs, discovering effective means for diversifying and increasing participation in STEM. All PPP projects must include project evaluation and dissemination components. Track 2: The Implementation and Evaluation Projects (IEP) track supports the implementation of evidence-based unit-, department-, or multi-department-level activities that will enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education.

All HSI institution types are encouraged to apply, especially PUIs (including community colleges). These projects may design and implement a new educational practice or practices, and/or adapt/replicate evidence-based practices that are already known to be effective. IEP may conduct research that promotes one or more of the HSI program goals, including research on indicators of effective and successful undergraduate STEM education at HSIs. These projects must include both project evaluation and dissemination components, as well as an education research component. The IEP strategies are expected to be institutionalized and sustainable. Track 3: The Institutional Transformation Projects (ITP) track supports institution-wide structural or systemic changes to enhance undergraduate STEM education at the proposing HSI. The ITP must be grounded in STEM education research and broadening participation research and be designed to make institutional infrastructure and policy changes to support long-term institutional changes that encourage and support faculty in implementing evidence-based practices that enhance student outcomes in STEM at the proposing HSI. Under the ITP track, research (including foundational research) that improves our understanding of how to build HSI institutional capacity in STEM is encouraged. Such research should result in a strategic understanding about how the multiple components of the HSI program goals work synchronously to advance STEM education.

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This page was last reviewed May 13, 2022 and last updated December 31, 2021