Building Capacity: Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM Through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Community Engagement

Project Leadership: Dr. Alexis Racelis (Principal Investigator, College of Sciences) Dr. Angela Chapman (Co-Principal Investigator), Dr. Francisco Guajardo (Co-Principal Investigator), and Dr. Javier Cavazos (Key Personnel)

Funding Amount: $1,480,002.00

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Project Description: This project will design and implement professional development workshops to help faculty develop inclusive, culturally relevant teaching practices, and to help faculty implement effective community engagement and experiential learning in STEM. These faculty will develop and teach new introductory core biology and math courses ("gateway courses") in a bilingual modality, as well as new first year courses in Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning. Through measures of academic, behavioral, and perceptual gains (e.g., pre/post assessments; measures of science motivation), the project will determine the impact of these courses on students' sense of belonging, pride, and cultural wealth, with the goal of defining how these characteristics intersect with student performance and retention. Using surveys, open ended questions, and focus group interviews, this project also aims to measure the impact of the professional development activities and new courses on faculty awareness of community engagement and on the faculty's use of culturally-relevant pedagogies.