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FIU and STEM : Bold Leadership Towards Fulfilling The Miami Promise

Read about President Mark B. Rosenberg's presentation to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or read a transcript here.

FIU and STEM: Bold Leadership Towards Fulfilling The Miami Promise

 

In advancing the reform of STEM Education, many of the strategies employed at FIU mirror many of the recommendations made recently by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on Higher Education.  The experience at FIU can inform policymakers, academia and industry on relevant issues surrounding Underrepresented Minorities and STEM.  

 

FIU is critical to meeting the national goals of 1,000,000 new STEM grads and 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next 10 years—especially considering its status as the largest Hispanic-serving university in the continental United States; the largest producer of STEM degrees for Hispanics; and one of the top producers of STEM degrees for all minorities.  FIU envisions producing or training over 1000 elementary and secondary STEM teachers in the next decade.

 

In line with PCAST recommendations, much of FIU’s current work can better inform the country’s policy leaders on higher education innovation, with particular emphasis on the needs of underrepresented minorities.  Additionally, FIU’s leadership in this area can serve as a model for other universities, namely minority serving institutions.

 

Recent commitments to South Florida and nation’s STEM Education imperative include:

FIUTeach:  FIU has received a $1.45 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to replicate a UTeach program in Miami. UTeach is a secondary STEM teacher preparation initiative that is helping to produce qualified math and science teachers across the country. With the grant, FIU will leverage its success in reforming STEM curriculum and producing discipline-focused STEM educators to recruit, prepare & retain 200 NEW STEM teachers in 26 low-performing schools at the Miami-Dade County Public School System.

 

STEM Transformation Institute: has been launched to further expand STEM education reform across the disciplines at FIU and further propel STEM education transformation in the US by serving as a national laboratory intended to develop, implement and evidence research-driven, replicable models for multicultural urban communities.

 

These recent commitments build upon FIU’s success to date in STEM Education:

 

RESEARCH DRIVEN:   FIU currently has well over a $20Million in active STEM Education-related grants (Depts. Of Energy, Education, NSF, NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

 

EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION:  Reforming introductory courses in STEM from traditional lecture style to active learning environments which have shown greater success for our minority-majority population.

 

  • Active learning: Including Modeling Instruction and other research driven curricula: students construct their knowledge through engaging the science content as scientists

  • Learning Assistants: deploying undergraduates as Learning Assistants and Peer-led Team Learning to engage peers in the classroom

  • Currently being implemented: Expanding the evidenced-based teaching methods across the STEM disciplines, coupled with faculty incentives to change the culture of instruction to student-centric active learning.

  • Key results: improved conceptual understanding, retention, and favorable attitudes in introductory physics courses; significantly increased success in introductory physics courses for all students by almost 40%; a 320% increase in the number of intended and declared physics majors from fall 2004 (to fall 2013), and a 220% increase in the number of physics graduates since 2004-05 (to 2013-14).

 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENGINEERING SUCCESS :  At a time when national trends show a ten-year decline in African-Americans earning bachelor's degrees in engineering, FIU has seen a 36% increase in bachelor’s degrees and 34% increase in overall engineering degrees during the last ten years.  

 

K-12 PATHWAYS:  FIU’s College of Engineering is the region’s leader in pre-collegiate initiatives in K-12 to inspiring

young minds and also opening eyes of parents and families, engaging with over 2,000 students a year.

 

MATHEMATICS:   Gateways: “High Tech-High Touch” initiative (funded by the US Dept of Ed, Title V) focuses on algebra and blends the use of software modules (High Tech) to assist student learning along with the “High Touch” element of Learning Assistants (LAs) in the lab and in small group learning environment called Math Gym. The Mastery Math LAs are a part of the larger FIU LA program that started in the Physics Department. Subsequent to the adoption of “High Tech-High Touch” model, the passing rate has increased from 33% to 62.4%.  The university goal is to reach 70% passing rate by 2016. As of Fall 2012 all algebra students experience Gateways initiative in the state-of-the-art Mastery Math Lab, which has 204 student stations and is served by 29 learning assistants.

 

STUDENTS ENGAGEMENT WITH RESEARCH:  a key recommendation of PCAST, FIU is increasingly offering opportunities for students to become engaged with ongoing research such as:

DOE Fellows

  • 93 FIU STEM minority students (graduates and undergraduates) have been inducted as DOE Fellows since program inception (2007).

  • 8 DOE Fellows hired by DOE EM HQ (3), DOE national research laboratories (2), and private contractors for EM (3). In addition, 13 Fellows have been hired by other federal, state or local governments.

  • Over 41 DOE Fellows graduated FIU with BS or MS degrees and obtained employment in STEM industry, including Florida Power & Light, GE, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, and others. Hiring rate for DOE Fellows is over 99%.

  • 80 internships completed at DOE sites and national labs, DOE HQ and DOE contractors.

  • Over 120 student posters and professional presentations given at national & international conferences (e.g., Waste Management Symposia, American Nuclear Society, etc.).

  • 33 Fellows have obtained Master’s or PhD degrees at FIU as a result of DOE EM research. Others have continued their graduate education at MIT, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, and other institutions.

 

K-12 COLLABORATION: TEACHER PREP: Together with Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools, FIU launched ACCESS (Achieving Community Collaboration in Education and Student Success) of which STEM is a major thrust. FIU is producing and preparing discipline-focused scientists as teachers by:

  • A new pathway for STEM majors to become certified teachers while receiving STEM bachelor’s degrees, ultimately further aiding the reform of the STEM disciplines

  • Agreement with MDCPS for placement of over 200 teachers within the next 5 years at high-need, struggling schools. Professional development retraining of 120 K-12 teachers per year with an estimated impact on over 20,000 students each year.

 

INDUSTRY: Launched a regional life sciences corridor initiative, Life Sciences South Florida, which includes STEM education/engagement as a central thrust.  FIU leads this initiative which includes all universities, community colleges, research parks and economic development councils in South Florida.

 

STEM FUNDERS DIALOGUE: FIU has hosted recent national dialogues on campus in Miami, which included involvement by relevant federal agencies (OSTP, Energy, USDA, etc.), private foundations and local critical partners.

 

GREATER EMPHASIS ON STUDENT INTERNSHIPS: FIU has launched a university-wide task force to increase the number of internship placements, competitive fellowships, with an additional emphasis on STEM opportunities.

 

NATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Dr. Rosenberg serves on the Executive Committee of the Science and Math Teaching Imperative, a collaboration led by the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities; additionally, FIU’s College of Engineering is engaged in the association’s Minority Male STEM Initiative.

 

STEM POLICY: FIU’s Office of Governmental Relations is actively engaged and advocating with policy makers at the federal and state levels, including through its Washington, D.C. Office of Federal Relations.

 

ABOUT FIU:  With over 54,000 students, FIU is one of the 5 largest public universities in the nation, offering more than 200 bachelors’, Master’s and doctoral programs. Research expenditures are more than $100 million per year. Over 73 percent of all undergraduate students at FIU receive financial aid, and nearly 40 percent of those financial aid recipients come from families with annual household incomes under $30,000. Ninety-six percent of the university’s full-time faculty hold doctorates or the highest degree attainable in their field. More than 139,618 (74% of total) FIU alumni live and work in South Florida.  

OVERALL: DIVERSIFYING STEM DEGREES

Based on the 2012-13 IPEDS Data:

  • 1st in awarding STEM degrees to underrepresented minorities.

  • 2nd in awarding STEM master’s degrees to underrepresented minorities.

  • FIU is in the top 20 institutions awarding STEM research doctorates to underrepresented minorities.

  • For Hispanics: 1st in producing bachelor’s degrees in life sciences (biological and biomedical sciences); 4th in graduate math degrees

  • Produced 2,050 STEM graduates in 2013-14, including 1,225 Hispanics.

  • In 2013-2014, FIU awarded 1,401 STEM bachelor’s degrees, 77% of which were awarded to underrepresented minorities.

  • In 2013-2014, 52% of the 649 STEM graduate degrees awarded were underrepresented minorities

 

PHYSICS MODEL: PEER-LED, ACTIVE LEARNING DRIVING EDUCATION REFORM

  • 320% increase in the number of intended and declared physics majors since fall 2004 (through fall 2013).

  • 222% increase in the number of physics graduates since 2004-05 (till 2013-14).

  • 189 Physics majors in fall 2013 (more than tripled since fall 2007), 175 Physics majors in fall 2014 (preliminary).

  • Significantly increased success in introductory physics courses for all students by almost 40%

  • Teachers see a factor of 2.3 improvement in students learning gain when compared to traditional teachers (per Force Concept Inventory (FCI).

  • Since 2008, FIU has graduated 15 students prepared to teach physics, 3 which are prepared to teach both physics and mathematics; the first in over a decade.

  • Over 160 teachers have participated in professional development to learn peer-led, active learning model with an estimated impact on over 20,000 high school students each year. (80% local)

 

ENGINEERING: UPWARD TRENDS FOR THE COUNTRY, REGION

  • FIU has seen a 36% increase in bachelor’s degrees and 34% increase in overall engineering degrees during the last ten years.

BASED ON 2012-13 IPEDS DATA

  • 1st in awarding BS Engineering degrees to Hispanics  in the continental US

  • 16th in awarding BS Engineering degrees to African Americans; 2nd in FL

  • 4th in producing BS Degrees in Computer Science; 2nd largest producer in FL.

  • College of Engineering and Computing is among the 20 largest engineering programs in the US.  –

 

MATHEMATICS:

  • Passing rates in Algebra has increased from 33% to 62.4 % as a result of our Gateways: High Tech, High Touch initiative.  Our goal is to reach 70% passing rate by 2016.

 

STUDENTS ENGAGED IN RESEARCH

DOE Fellows

  • 93 FIU STEM minority students (graduates and undergraduates) have been inducted as DOE Fellows since program inception (2007).

  • 8 DOE Fellows hired by DOE EM HQ (3), DOE national research laboratories (2), and private contractors for EM (3). In addition, 13 Fellows have been hired by other federal, state or local governments.

  • Over 41 DOE Fellows graduated FIU with BS or MS degrees and obtained employment in STEM industry, including Florida Power & Light, GE, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, and others. Hiring rate for DOE Fellows is over 99%.

  • 80 internships completed at DOE sites and national labs, DOE HQ and DOE contractors.

  • Over 120 student posters and professional presentations given at national & international conferences (e.g., Waste Management Symposia, American Nuclear Society, etc.).

33 Fellows have obtained Master’s or PhD degrees at FIU as a result of DOE EM research. Others have continued their graduate education at MIT, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, and other institutions.

 

MINORITY EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS

Based on IPEDS 2012-13 Data

  • 1st in awarding baccalaureate degrees to minorities in the continental US.

  • 6th highest Hispanic 6 yr graduation rate in country for HSI’s: 52%

  • 14th in awarding Bachelor’s to African Americans.

  • 2nd in master’s degrees awarded to minorities for all disciplines combined.

  • Awarded over 68,500 degrees to under-represented students over the last decade (2003-04 to 2013-14)

  • 72% of FIU 2013-14 degrees were awarded to minorities  

  • Nearly 25% of FIU students will be the first generation in their families to earn a college degree.

 

SUCCESS AT HISPANIC EDUCATION BY THE NUMBERS:  FIU is a national leader in Hispanic student academic achievement

 

Enrollment

  • Largest Hispanic-Serving university in the continental US, with over 54,000 students

  • Fall 2014 - over 32,900 Hispanic undergraduates and almost Hispanic 4,000 graduate students

 

College Completion

  • FIU has awarded more bachelor’s degrees (31,973) and master’s degrees (6,681) to Hispanic students over the last 10 years than any other U.S. institution. (Including all degrees from 2003-04 to 2012-13)*

  • 6th highest Hispanic 6 yr graduation rate in country for HSI’s 52%

  • Top US grantor of degrees to Hispanic undergraduates in Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Philosophy/Religious Studies, Physical Sciences, Psychology, and Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services.

  • First in awarding bachelors’ degrees to Hispanics in Computer and Information Sciences

and Support Services; second in Engineering; second in Education; third in English Language and Literature/Letters; first in Social Sciences, and fourth in History; (Difference between this Engineering statistic and the previous one is that the previous one does not include Puerto Rico)

  • FIU now awards 65% more bachelors’ degrees per year than it did 10 years ago (from

5,228 (in 2003-04) to 8,710 (in 2013-14). This percentage will increase as the university grows as part of its Strategic Plan.

  • Nearly 25% of FIU students will be the first generation in the families to earn a college degree.

 

Research

  • FIU is one of only six Carnegie Foundation High or Very High Research Activity HSIs in the US

 

Demographics (Fall 2014) preliminary:

  • 62.6% Hispanic      

  • 12.1% Black    

  • 11.5% White Non-Hispanic     

  • 3.0% Asian or Pacific Islander   

  • 0.1% American Indian or Alaska Native

 

Notes:

Counts of graduates only include students who graduated in 150% of expected time (6 years for students who began at FIU; 4 years for AA degree transfers).  STEM data sources: FIU, U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles of Engineering & Engineering Technology Colleges.

IPEDS Ranking Information: U.S Only, Public 4-year and above, Research Universities (High research activity), Degree-granting (primarily Baccalaureate and above), highest degree offered – Doctor’s

*Not all schools reported bachelor’s degree data for 2009-10, and master’s degree data from 2007-08 to 2009-10 to IPEDS