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AAU Awards Grants to Twelve Universities to Improve Undergraduate STEM Education


The Association of American Universities (AAU) announced today that it has selected twelve AAU member campuses active in the AAU STEM Education Network to receive small grants – or “mini-grants” – to further existing efforts to improve undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The network is an outgrowth of the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative , a major project begun in 2011 to encourage STEM departments at AAU universities to use teaching practices proven to be effective in engaging students in STEM education and in helping students learn. The initiative originally supported major project sites at eight universities .

The mini-grants are made possible by a five-year, $1 million grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation , which supports diverse and sustainable national programs to enhance the STEM education experience for students and provide STEM teachers with the training and tools they need to be successful in the classroom.

“AAU remains committed to improving the effectiveness of undergraduate STEM teaching and learning at research universities,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. “We are excited to support innovative concepts to scale education reforms at our member campuses.”

The grants will fund specific departmental or college-wide improvements at the selected universities. Efforts include creating learning communities for STEM faculty members involved in reform efforts, establishing programs to train graduate students and undergraduate teaching assistants or peer advisors in active learning practices, developing college-wide teaching evaluation programs, implementing an educational analytics program, and redesigning STEM courses.

The grants will go to the California Institute of Technology; Cornell University; Iowa State University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; McGill University; The University of Texas at Austin; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Kansas; University of Missouri, Columbia; University of Virginia; and Yale University.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery. Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and well being through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens. AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.