The Mathematics Achievement as a STEP for STEM Success (MAS3) project at Cleveland State University (CSU) is providing cohorts of students who place into precalculus enrichment activities, including mandatory and high-quality supplemental instruction. In addition, the MAS3 student cohorts are provided with problem-based learning (PBL), research experiences, support services and greater immersion into and utilization of existing campus and community assets in an effort to increase the pipeline, persistence and graduation rates of these students in STEM. Additionally, a PBL Seminar involves a collaboration among science, mathematics, and engineering faculty and supplemental instructors that provides structure and content to engage the cohort of students as well as other students enrolled in other sections of precalculus and calculus. Moreover, the project involves continuing and refining the Engineering Education Summer Conference (EESC) as a tool to enhance MAS3 outreach and recruitment. The conference brings together grades 7-12 educators and staff, university faculty, and industry professionals for a critical conversation about implementing and improving science and mathematics education in grades 7-12.

Intellectual merit: The project is laying the groundwork for a long-term institutional transformation at CSU that will have far-reaching impacts. MAS3 will provide a model of replication for other large, public universities with a large segment of mathematically underprepared students. In addition to providing a research-grounded support system to maximize the students' success, the project is targeting at-risk students accepted by CSU to study the effects of these interventions to various important educational measures of their success.

Broader Impacts: The project represents a well-documented model to increase the pass rates of a major barrier to STEM and college success: precalculus and calculus courses. Particularly because the project is focusing recruitment activities on student populations where this barrier has been particularly problematic (e.g., underrepresented students including females, those with weak academic preparation or low income). In addition, the project is serving as a model for the educational efficacy of PBL seminars that bring together faculty stakeholders in mathematics, science, and engineering. The summer institutes also is serving as a model for other institutions to recruit STEM students and to initiate dialogue at the K-12 level needed for students to be adequately prepared to begin college-level science, mathematics, and engineering coursework.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Connie Della-Piana
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Cleveland State University
United States
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