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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Stetson University
  • William T Grubbs
  • (386) 822-8184
  • William W Miles
  • Benjamin Tanner
  • Hooi Lynn Kee
  • Holley Lynch
Award Date:11/13/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 999,823
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 999,823
  • FY 2021=$999,823
Start Date:03/15/2021
End Date:02/28/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:045176 H-1B FUND, EHR, NSF
Award Title or Description:Cohort-Based Interdisciplinary Learning to Increase Retention and Graduation Rates of Undergraduate Students in Science, Technology, and Mathematics
Federal Award ID Number:2030485
DUNS ID:047090428
Parent DUNS ID:047090428
Program:S-STEM-Schlr Sci Tech Eng&Math
Program Officer:
  • Thomas Kim
  • (703) 292-4458

Awardee Location

Street:421 North Woodland Blvd
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Stetson University
Street:421 North Woodland Blvd
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will contribute to the national need for skilled scientists, mathematicians, and technicians by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students with verified financial need. The project is led by Stetson University, a private four-year university in Central Florida. The five-year project will provide scholarships to 32 different full-time students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, math, molecular biology, or physics. Two annual cohorts of 16 students will be recruited, and each student will receive up to four years of scholarship support. The project seeks to enhance degree completion by engaging the student cohorts in a novel STEM-enriched, interdisciplinary curriculum. This curriculum will emphasize peer-interaction, project-based learning, community partnerships, mathematical problem-solving skills, technological literacy, and professional writing and presentation skills. Scholars will also have access to mentoring, tutoring, and career counseling. The recruitment plan emphasizes the importance of identifying academically talented, low-income students from diverse populations, thereby broadening access to STEM educational opportunities. The overall goal of this project is to increase STEM degree completion of low-income, high-achieving undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Specific aims of the project include increasing Scholars' first to second year retention, graduation rates, and post-graduate placement in graduate studies or the workforce within one year of degree completion. The scope of this project is inspired by a successful pedagogical experiment originally developed at Brandeis University, which found that a closed-cohort model focused on STEM study led to enhanced retention and persistence to degree completion, especially among students from groups that are not equitably represented in STEM. The project will track the progress of Scholars alongside peer STEM cohorts in a traditional STEM curriculum. This analysis will be designed to examine the impact of navigating a series of courses as members of a close-knit cohort in which all participants actively and purposefully engage in a common interdisciplinary general education core that culminates in a community-based research project and a capstone research experience. The effectiveness of the innovative curriculum on learning, motivation, and persistence toward degree completion will be evaluated, with attention to identifying elements that correlate with improvements in learning and retention. Throughout the five-year project, an independent external evaluator will examine and document project outcomes, accomplishments, and lessons learned using a combination of online surveys, interviews, and participant data. If the project is successful, the University intends to sustain and expand the positive outcomes of this initiative beyond the grant term, extending its broader impacts within the University. Lessons learned from the project will be shared through presentations at regional and national higher education conferences, as well as discipline-specific professional conferences, thereby extending the broader impacts of the project beyond the University. This project is funded by NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program, which seeks to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who earn degrees in STEM fields. It also aims to improve the education of future STEM workers, and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, transfer, graduation, and academic/career pathways of low-income students. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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