Calculus is considered to be a foundational learning block for many STEM fields. Students are often required to enroll in this course series in their first year as they pursue life sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, and engineering degrees. However, the college calculus sequence often poses considerable barriers for prospective STEM students. Retention and degree completion gaps are especially prevalent for Black/African Americans, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander groups and women, despite showing high levels of interest in STEM.
To help close these gaps, Learning Lab is inviting faculty teams from California’s public higher education institutions to reconceptualize the role of and approach to calculus in a student’s first year introductory STEM experience. Learning Lab intends to award up to five grants of approximately $1 million to $1.5 million over three years to support new, innovative ways to teach calculus, or reimagine the role of calculus in STEM majors where calculus is a prerequisite.
Awardees will join the Grand Challenge Cohort through which they will share ideas, approaches, findings, data, and outcomes over the three-year grant period. Grounded in their experiences, awardees will collaboratively produce, by the end of the grant period, recommendations for model first-year STEM curricula with effective pedagogical approaches and faculty professional development components built in. A coordinating institution or project team will be selected to receive $500,000 over three years to foster collaboration among grantees and serve as the Cohort Facilitator.
The Learning Lab Grand Challenge grant application process consists of three parts:
All applicants must submit a Statement of Intent as well as a Self-Assessment and Concept Proposal. Learning Lab’s Selection Committee will then invite a select group of applicants to submit Full Proposals.
Additionally, a principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator (co-PI) must participate in at least one meeting sponsored by Learning Lab on racial and gender equity. Learning Lab will host a web-based conversation series on race and gender equity between mid-December 2020 and mid-February 2021. Learning Lab will send out notifications through Learning Lab’s Listserv and post information on this website regarding the schedule.
Additionally, one institution or project team will be selected to receive $500,000 over three years to foster collaboration among the Grant Challenge Cohort. The grant application process consists of three parts:
All applicants must submit a Statement of Intent as well as a Cohort Facilitator Application. Learning Lab’s Selection Committee will then invite a select group of finalists to fill out an additional questionnaire. The Cohort Facilitator will be selected in tandem with the Grand Challenge Cohort projects.
Learning Lab is committed to shaping a more equitable public higher education system in California. As part of this mission, Learning Lab hosted a four-part conversation series on race and gender equity between mid-December 2020 and mid-February 2021. The Equity Conversation Series provided an overview of the meaning of racial equity, delved deeper into data as an equity practice, explored the perspectives of statewide academic senate leaders, and discussed how the syllabus can be used as an equity tool. You can view the recorded webinars below. Click the “Join the Community” button at the bottom of the page to get updates about upcoming conversations and explore our website to learn more about the Learning Lab program.