An award has been made to Washington State University to organize a national effort to raise awareness of the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE). Last September, the PULSE partners (HHMI, NIH, and NSF) appointed 40 Vision and Change Leadership Fellows to stimulate transformative changes in the undergraduate life science education community. All Fellows met in October 2012 and have since organized into four working groups to address different challenges to reforming how biology is taught at all types of undergraduate institutions. The Vision and Change Leadership Fellows are focusing on how life science departments can encourage and reward faculty members' efforts to improve undergraduate life sciences education. Such improvements should increase student learning, should increase retention rates for students in the sciences, and should prepare all students to be more curious and scientifically literate citizens.

The current award is to fund a Public Awareness Campaign by the Raising the Pulse Working Group. One barrier to implementing the recommendations made in the Vision and Change Call to Action is an awareness of the report itself. Therefore, this multi-step campaign plans to ensure that all department leaders in the US know about the Vision and Change report and know about PULSE activities. These goals will be accomplished by developing promotional materials to be used at conferences, production of a video documentary to highlight the need to reform undergraduate life science education and to highlight effective efforts that are underway, and develop two Local Impact Maps, one to catalog national reform efforts underway and the second to document the continuing activities of the Fellows. The project team anticipates that the PULSE Public Awareness Campaign will increase participation of faculty engaged in Vision and Change efforts and will also motivate departments to implement systemic change in biology education. A greater awareness of PULSE and Vision and Change will help catalyze systemic change in undergraduate biology education throughout the country. Results from the Public Awareness Campaign will be shared at specific regional and national conferences and more broadly with the life sciences community, primarily via the website.

This project is being funded jointly by the Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of their efforts to support Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Emerging Frontiers (EF)
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Reed Beaman
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Washington State University
United States
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