White House Commitments for College Opportunity, K-16 Partnerships, and STEM Education

November 11, 2014

Earlier this month, FIU and partners announced three distinct—yet each very exciting—commitments that are being made in advance of the White House College Opportunity Summit this December.    


In advancing the Administration’s priorities, these commitments build upon strong collaborative platforms and include private support, yet aim to raise the ante and increase college-going, completion, and STEM education training for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students.  


A quick sketch of all three are here:

·         College Opportunity: Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities (FIU, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida).              The Consortium will aim to increase the six‐year graduation from 54% in 2012-2013 (2007 cohort) to an average of 71% in 2020 and 76% among all three universities by 2025. This will be done by deploying predictive analytics, intensive advising support and incorporating high-tech pathways.  Already, these institutions serve 60% of Florida’s higher education population; 70% of the state’s minority student population; and produce about 50% of all baccalaureate degrees awarded by the State system.   This collaboration is a historic first for Florida higher ed, and this White House commitment builds off of some earlier wins this year.  


·         K-16 Partnerships: FIU and Miami-Dade Schools’ Education Effect at Booker T. Washington. Leveraging a strong collaborative ACCESS platform, and private support of over $1M, this commitment aims to increase college going and success by increasing dual enrollment courses; transforming teacher professional development in STEM; implementing math and civics after school institutes; infusing college entrance test preparation and reinvigorating the Engineering academy while reopening an on-site Planetarium.   An added focus will also be placed on foster youth success and transitions to college. Here is a quick video of our recent launch and previous success at a sister school, Miami Northwestern Senior High.


·         STEM Education:  Increasing STEM Graduation Rates by Taking Evidence-based models to scale.   Our commitment is to increase overall STEM graduation rates by 10%by taking our effective models of peer-led and active learning in smaller environments to scale across disciplines at the University.  Within a year, 50% of the STEM majors will experience evidence-based instruction and all students will experience evidence-based instruction in at least one course in three years.  This is projected to reduce individual course failure rates by at least 20% within 2 years of implementation.  Based on much of the earlier work of Dr. Carl Weiman, already, these models are sustaining the first ever attitudinal shift in intro physics and reducing failure rates.  We were pleased to featured these reforms when we hosted OSTP Director John Holdren last month on campus.  Also attached are some data on our STEM Success, and here is one alumna’s perspective!



For more information on any of these, contact:

Carlos A. Becerra

Director of Federal Relations

Florida International University

202-624-1498    C: 305-439-8158

t: fiudc