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National Science Foundation Grant Supports Rose-Hulman Hosting National STEM Educators Workshop in Indianapolis

March 24, 2014

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Becoming Change Agents: Rose-Hulman’s Making Academic Change Happen workshop engage teams of faculty and staff members, administrators, and graduate students to implement educational innovations on their campuses. (Photos by Shawn Spence)

     Rose-Hulman has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support hosting the Making Academic Change Happen (MACH) workshop this summer to promote change management strategies for higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators.

     MACH will be conducted June 12-15 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, prior to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition in downtown Indianapolis.

     MACH is a participant-centered workshop designed by Rose-Hulman professors to help teams of faculty and staff members, administrators, and graduate students implement educational innovations on their campuses. These educators come with challenges, projects, and ideas; they leave with skills, strategies, and connections to become advocates for change on their campuses.

     The workshop is organized around three themes: Knowing yourself, cultivating an allied community of colleagues, and making change happen on campus. Within each theme, participants work specifically on their own change projects, while receiving support and direction from the workshop facilitators and other participants.

     The $48,000 grant from NSF’s Research in Engineering Education (REE) Division will help provide scholarships to support educators to attend the workshop.

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Workshop Facilitators: Rose-Hulman faculty members are ready to again serve as facilitators for the Making Academic Change Happen workshop this summer in Indianapolis.

     “There are repeated calls within the STEM education community for changing the way we educate our students. Change management strategies are the centerpiece of the MACH curriculum,” says MACH Facilitator Co-Leader Julia Williams, PhD, Rose-Hulman’s executive director of institutional research, planning, and assessment, and professor of English. “Many change agents feel isolated. By enlarging the community of scholars known to be engaged in change practices, the workshop provides tremendous support for future initiatives throughout higher education.”

     The MACH workshop experience seeks to address the calls for change made by the National Academy of Engineering’s Engineer of 2020 project, President Obama’s Educate to Innovate program, and Association of American University’s Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative.

     “MACH is especially useful to faculty and staff members who have tried and failed in leading change initiatives in the past, since these failures and setbacks emphasize the need for a different approach,” states MACH Facilitator Co-Leader Ella Ingram, PhD, associate professor of applied biology and director of Rose-Hulman’s Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education. “The lack of systemic change in STEM education points to an important problem with the approach to change that the STEM education community has pursued thus far. Our workshop brings forth important conversations within STEM education in a rigorous, accessible way.”

     Rose-Hulman is a national leader in STEM education innovation and several faculty members have considerable experience in bringing change in curriculum, classroom teaching techniques, and technology implementation. Joining Williams and Ingram as facilitators will be Kay C Dee, PhD, associate dean of learning and technology and professor of applied biology and biomedical engineering; Steve Chenoweth, PhD, associate professor of computer science and software engineering; Craig Downing, PhD, department head and associate professor of engineering management; Richard House, PhD, professor of English; Glen Livesay, PhD, professor of applied biology and biomedical engineering; and Donald Richards, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering.

     Educators can register for the MACH workshop by April 7.