The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) proposes an ambitious program to address the pressing problem of student persistence in science and engineering. We embark on this project from a strong position, with large science enrollments, high impact research programs, high undergraduate involvement in research, better than average persistence for all students (including underrepresented minority [URM] students) in the sciences, and a substantial and growing population of URM students. UCSC has a range of programs that support student performance or persistence in the sciences, or that provide opportunities to engage in research. These programs are one reason for the already positive outcomes for students interested in the sciences at UCSC.

Our overarching goals are:

1) to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates, with those graduates reflecting the diversity of UCSC’s student population,

2) to increase the proportion of those diverse graduates who move on to STEM careers, and

3) to build an institutional culture that sustains learner-centered, inclusive, evidence-based STEM education.

With a generous grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), we have started an initiative aimed at transforming undergraduate biology, chemistry and physics. More details will be posted soon to highlight our inclusivity practices, our emphasis on active learning teaching strategies and teaching resources that we have been implementing in these disciplines.

The UCSC active learning community is part of a larger initiative of transformational education practices. The UC faculty learning community (FLC) bridges several UC's, bringing community and strength to our educational objectives. You can find out more about the UC-FLC here.