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, March 22, 2021 – Today, the California Education Learning Lab (Learning Lab) announced that its 2021 Selection Committee recommended nine Grand Challenge proposals and three Cohort Facilitator proposals to advance to the next stage. Scroll to the bottom of this article to view the proposals moving forward.
These recommendations represent the first stage of a two-stage review process for the Learning Lab Grand Challenge: Overcoming the Calculus Barrier to STEM Success (Grand Challenge), which aims to boost STEM retention and completion in California, particularly for historically minoritized students. The recommendations were approved by the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Kate Gordon. “The projects moving forward have strong potential to create more equitable access for California students to succeed in STEM education, and in their eventual careers,” said Gordon.
Learning Lab intends to award up to five grants between $1 million and $1.5 million over three years through the Grand Challenge to intersegmental faculty teams that 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. Learning Lab also intends to award one coordinating institution or project team up to $500,000 over three years to act as the Grand Challenge Cohort Facilitator to help the five 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. Learning Lab’s Director Lark Park stated, “We had many strong proposals and were happy to see so many faculty motivated to address equity gaps in STEM education.”
For applicants advancing to the next stage, the remaining dates of significance are as follows:
- Grand Challenge full proposals and responses to the Cohort Facilitator follow-up questionnaire are both due by 5pm, Friday, April 23, 2021.
- The next and final meeting of the Selection Committee is scheduled for Friday, May 21, 2021.
- Awards are intended to be announced on May 24, 2021.
- Grant agreements must be in place no later than June 30, 2021.
- Projects are expected to commence on July 1, 2021.
Grand Challenge Concept Proposals Moving Forward
|TITLE||HOST INSTITUTION||PARTNER INSTITUTION(S)|
|“Why, What and How” Calculus||UC Merced||CSU Fresno|
|Equity and Excellence for STEM Success||San Diego Mesa College||San Diego State University|
|BioCalculus PEA Program||UC Irvine||CSU Fresno & CSU Fullerton|
|A New Mathematics Gateway||UC Riverside||Saddleback College & Yuba College|
|Enhancing Access and Retention in STEM||CSU Long Beach||Long Beach City College & UC Santa Barbara|
|Equitable Calculus for Life Sciences||CSU Northridge||LA Valley College & LA Mission College|
|Calculus Integrated||CSU San Marcos||MiraCosta Community College|
|GPS to STEM Success||CSU Monterey Bay||Hartnell College|
|Scaling Equity in STEM Pathways||Bakersfield College||Glendale Community College, San Diego City College, CSU Sacramento, & UC Riverside|
Grand Challenge Cohort Facilitators Moving Forward
|HOST INSTITUTION||PARTNER INSTITUTION(S)|
|CSU East Bay||N/A|
|UC Office of the President||UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, & CSU Monterey Bay|