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New Report Highlights National Organization's Role in Achieving STEM Education Reforms

Following is a statement by Association of American Universities (AAU) regarding a new report, Scaling Improvement in STEM Learning Environments: The Strategic Role of a National Organization:

The role of a national organization is critical to leveraging sustainable improvements to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, according to a new report released today by AAU and Dr. Adrianna Kezar, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California and co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. The report, Scaling Improvement in STEM Learning Environments: The Strategic Role of a National Organization details the multiple strategies implemented simultaneously in AAU’s Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative to accelerate and scale changes in STEM education at research universities.

To assess the strategies employed by the Initiative, the study explored two key questions:

  • How does the AAU Undergraduate STEM Initiative achieve scale in reform of undergraduate STEM teaching and learning?
  • What is the role of a national association in undergraduate STEM reform and what approaches are most impactful?

The findings demonstrate that AAU was most effective when it used strategies that leveraged its organizational influence to garner support for change at the university and network levels. AAU appears best-positioned to shape national priorities and funding, garner media attention, and influence administrators’ perspectives and priorities. Although the study provides important feedback for AAU to hone its strategy, the report provides key recommendations for other national organizations and stakeholders interested in scaling change.

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 wellbeing 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.