Grand Challenge calls for proposals to transform how first-year calculus is taught across STEM fields to improve learning outcomes and close racial and gender equity gaps in STEM degree attainment.
SACRAMENTO, CA, May 27, 2021 – Today, the California Education Learning Lab (Learning Lab) announced that it is awarding four Grand Challenge proposals and one Cohort Facilitator proposal, in response to Learning Lab’s Grand Challenge: Overcoming the Calculus Barrier to STEM Success, which aims to boost STEM retention and completion in California, particularly for historically minoritized students.
Scroll to the bottom of this article to view the funded proposals.
The awards were based on recommendations from Learning Lab’s 2021 Selection Committee in a two-stage review process that culminated earlier this week. The Selection Committee’s recommendations were approved by the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Kate Gordon.
Awarded teams will receive between $1.2 million and $1.4 million over three years to implement their projects, which seek to directly transform the first-year calculus experience or reimagine the role of calculus in STEM majors where calculus is a prerequisite and often poses considerable barriers for STEM students. The Cohort Facilitator team will receive up to $500,000 over three years to help the Grand Challenge awarded teams share their project ideas, approaches, findings, data, and outcomes over the three-year period, and work to develop model curricula, pedagogical practices, and professional development resources.
The Grand Challenge grant opportunity attracted interest from 56 California public higher education institutions from across the state. More than 35 unique institutions from the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems were part of 20 project teams that applied for the Grand Challenge and Cohort Facilitator grant opportunities. Fourteen distinct institutions of public higher education, including five CCCs, five CSUs, and four UCs, and two systemwide offices were included in the final awarded projects.
Projects will commence upon final agreement between the host institutions (listed below) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which is administering the grant on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
Grand Challenge Awardees
|TITLE||HOST INSTITUTION||PARTNER INSTITUTION(S)|
|BioCalculus Preparation, Engagment, & Application Program||UC Irvine||CSU Fresno & CSU Fullerton|
|Equitable Calculus for Life Sciences||CSU Northridge||LA Valley College, LA Mission College, CSU Long Beach, & CSU Chancellor’s Office|
|A New Mathematics Gateway||UC Riverside||Saddleback College & Yuba College|
|“Why, What and How” Calculus||UC Merced||CSU Fresno|
Grand Challenge Cohort Facilitator Awardee
|HOST INSTITUTION||PARTNER INSTITUTION(S)|
|UC Office of the President||CSU Monterey Bay & UC Santa Cruz|