STEM Ed and State Policy

Full Title

State policies to transform undergraduate STEM education


We will address two urgent problems: (1) designing and delivering undergraduate STEM courses that better engage students and increase their learning; and (2) preparing citizens to address global challenges (e.g., energy, environment, health, food) that are coupled with strong economic development. Research indicates that both problems can be addressed by connecting STEM education with real-world problems in sustainability. This project focuses on state policies and priorities that affect current and future STEM education practices in higher education. We will connect teams from five states that have begun to change content and pedagogy in undergraduate STEM courses in ways that support their long-term objectives. Teams will include representatives from higher education, government, and business/industry who seek to align STEM education with their states’ priorities for global sustainability. At the first meeting teams will describe their current efforts and identify what each sees as promising targets of opportunity for progress. Additional data collection will be undertaken examine more fully the approaches being taken in each state. At the second meeting, the group will synthesize what is known about various effective state-level practices. The results of these meetings will used to prepare proposals, in cooperation with the five initial states, to recruit and engage additional states and the National Academy of Sciences in this work in years 2 and 3. Two additional meetings are anticipated as the number of states involved expands. Our ultimate objective is to stimulate improvement in undergraduate STEM education and support long-term social and environmental sustainability efforts in all states.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Catherine Middlecamp, University of Wisconsin
Melvin George, University of Missouri
Judith Ramaley, Portland State University
Terri Nikole Baca, New Mexico STEM Network
Steve Barkanic, Business-Higher Education Forum
Bill Behrens, ReVision Energy
Spencer Benson, University of Maryland
Judy Botelho, California State University
Myles Boylan, National Science Foundation
David Brakke, James Madison University
Diane Burke, Central New Mexico Community College
Ronald Cantor, Southern Maine Community College
Mary Jo Daniel, New Mexico EPSCoR
Debra David, California State University
Dawn Digrius, California State University
Scott Fast, Colorado
Pat Harcourt, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Marlit Hayslett, Georgia Institute of Technology
Meriah Heredia-Griego, University of New Mexico
Jay Labov, The National Academies
Catherine Lee, Lee International
Jean Moon, Tidemark Institute
Vicky Jo Morris-Dueer, University of New Mexico
Mary Nelson, Maine State Legislature
Karen Olmstead, Salisbury University
Dale Orth, Western State Colorado University
James Postma, California State University
Albert Reed, Innovate + Educate
Andrea Renwanz-Boyle, San Francisco State University
Elvyra San Juan, California State University
John Sepich, Independent STEM policy advocate
Nancy Shapiro, University System of Maryland
Linda Silka, University of Maine
Meaghan Smith, California State University
Starlin Weaver, Salisbury University
Penny Whitney, Rocky Mountain Technology Alliance
Jane Wolfson, Towson University
Darlene Yee-Melichar, San Francisco State University

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