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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign STEM Education Initiatives

Illinois’ undergraduate STEM educational reform activities aim to reduce attrition, increase student performance in STEM courses, and increase graduation rates for STEM majors, especially focusing on increasing diversity and improving performance of students from underrepresented groups.

Illinois faculty are kept abreast of research findings, best practices, and effective pedagogy and models in STEM teaching and learning. To ensure that adequate funding is available to support undergraduate STEM education reform for consistent, sustained, high-impact programming, departments apply for educational improvement resources from major external funders.

In addition, some units have implemented campus-funded reform projects. Illinois works to develop effective, scalable, sustainable STEM education models. Because we believe that student support programs (i.e., learning communities, mentoring, and bridge programs) can improve recruitment, retention, and matriculation of students in STEM fields, the university works to coordinate and make these programs sustainable, plus ensure that academic support is provided beyond the freshman year. In addition, we are working to increase student awareness of these programs, qualifications, and how to access these services.