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Emory aspires to be a national leader in science education. This grant will focus on a complete restructuring of the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. By building a community of faculty leaders steeped in evidence-based practices and committed to conducting innovative experiments in education, we plan to catalyze institutional change. By investing in preparing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars we will seed change at other institutions. HHMI investments have catalyzed transformative changes at Emory. Through collaboration with other HHMI initiatives, we have had a national impact on integrating quantitative skills, diversity initiatives, undergraduate curriculum, undergraduate research assessment and preparation of faculty and future faculty leadership for curricular transformation. With previous grants we developed undergraduate research programs, mentoring and academic support and career support for students underrepresented in the sciences. Our Hughes Undergraduates Excelling in Science (HUES) program has increased persistence and success for over 1,100 underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.
Building on these successful HHMI-funded programs, we will increase chemistry research faculty engagement in undergraduate education and enhance persistence and success for all students. Our vision integrates core concepts and competencies throughout the curriculum by introducing the scientific process to students early, and reinforcing science processes in all courses. Our primary goals are to enhance student persistence in science and mathematics by transforming our chemistry program and to engage students in authentic research through course based chemistry laboratories. We will develop authentic research modules in the lab to prepare students for more advanced research in their junior and senior years. To refine quantitative and critical thinking skills in the classroom and laboratories, we will build on our expertise and experience with evidence-based practices that foster persistence and success for all students. Our award supports major reform of introductory chemistry courses. Chemistry is central to the biological and biomedical science disciplines and often has been viewed as a gatekeeper for these pathways. At Emory and Oxford over 700 students begin in these courses each year. Teams of faculty from Emory and Oxford will collaborate to redesign courses to enhance persistence and success in chemistry for all STEM majors. The plan includes 5 new introductory chemistry courses that will place chemistry concepts in the context of current research and real world problems and exemplars from other disciplines. The revolutionary changes proposed will engage students in active learning and in research modules from the first chemistry course. It will offer pathways through the introductory program that permit students' flexible options. By leveraging the HHMI investment, we plan to build robust pipeline from engaged learning curriculum/discovery based large enrollment labs to authentic research in faculty labs. The changes we envision will impact instructional practices and pedagogy, and include providing active-learning and inquiry-based experiences to students, measuring the effectiveness of student learning, and incorporating evidence-based teaching practices and educational research scholarship. We will also sustain and enhance diversity initiatives by building a chemistry focused electronic portfolio and career planning system. With institutional funds we will expand a successful first and second year research program and creating institutional funds and endowment plan for upper level apprentice based research. We have leveraged HHMI support with external grants and institutional support. New HHMI funds will be leveraged by substantial institutional investment and by seeking additional grant funds to support course developments in other disciplines and mentored undergraduate research.

For More Information

Patricia Marsteller, Ph.D.
Emory University
Department of Biology and CSE
1399 Oxford Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-0001
404/727-9696
pmars@emory.edu

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