Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science at WWU

The Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science (AEES) program is funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence grant for $1 million over 5 years, starting in September, 2017.  The major goal of this program is to enhance the number of women, under-represented minorities, and first generation students in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics and astronomy).

The AEES program takes a multi-faceted approach to improve the success of students.  First year and transfer students are in cohorts during a two seminar course sequence which emphasizes reading science articles, modeling scientific results, and topics related to the process of learning, such as growth mindset, metacognition, and study habits.  Faculty and peer mentoring occur in conjunction with the seminars.  First year students take a new math course designed to delve into mathematical concepts important for the natural sciences (e.g., logarithms, fractions, scientific notation) in scientific contexts.  A special section of English 101 for AEES students emphasizes scientific readings.  Faculty and teaching assistants are being trained to use inclusive, student-centered learning approaches in their teaching; these teaching strategies have been shown to enhance the success of all students.  Finally, policies that may negatively influence the success of faculty seeking to transform science education and traditionally under-represented students will be identified and modified.

For more information read the this PDF:


AAES.pdf (71.21 KB)

or contact:

Emily Borda, Project Director

or one of the members of the Core Leadership Team:

Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Chair, Chemistry
Jessica Cohen, Math
Janelle Leger, Dean of College of Science and Engineering