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HHMI grant will help UGA advance evaluation of teaching

Andrea Horsman

A research team from the University of Georgia will join 103 institutions from across the country to form a collaborative learning community that seeks to foster inclusive undergraduate science education.

Funded by a six-year, $493,065 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence 3 (IE3) initiative, the UGA team will focus on three areas of effective and inclusive teaching including changes in policy, effective instructor development and optimal sources of evidence.

The HHMI’s IE3 initiative challenges U.S. colleges and universities to substantially and sustainably build capacity for students to have meaningful and positive experience in science through which they will better understand and engage in scientific thinking and discovery, especially students from backgrounds that have been historically excluded from the sciences.

Of the nearly one million students who enter college intending to study STEM, more than half will not complete a degree in a STEM field. Those who leave STEM are disproportionately students who are first in their family to attend college, students who begin at community colleges and students from historically excluded ethnic and racial groups.

The 104 participating institutions have been divided into seven Learning Community Clusters, or LCCs, that comprise approximately 15 schools each. These clusters will focus on the content of the introductory science experience, evaluating effective and inclusive teaching, and building partnerships between the two- and four-year schools.

Leveraging their collective experiences and resources, the UGA LCC4 research team aims to advance policies around inclusive and effective teaching for promotion and tenure, and to improve sources of evidence used to evaluate teaching more robustly and holistically.

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Image: UGA faculty members (left to right) Tessa Andrews, Peggy Brickman, Paula Lemons and Erin Dolan. (Photo by Lauren Corcino)


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