Change at the Core: A Collaborative Model for Undergraduate STEM Education Reform (C-Core) is an NSF-funded institutional transformation project. Three institutions, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, and Skagit Valley College, are working together to transform courses in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, and Physics from teacher- to student-centered learning environments. Currently, over 100 STEM faculty are participating in professional development workshops, implementing and observing evidence-based teaching and learning practices, and collaborating on curriculum changes and course alignment across the three institutions. Challenges include: student resistance to change, classroom and laboratory spaces not designed to support student-centered learning, assessments poorly aligned with student-centered learning practices, and faculty uncertainty about how to address the needs of diverse students. Preliminary data from student focus groups, faculty surveys, and case studies suggest that these challenges can be at least partially overcome through active engagement of department chairs, faculty learning communities, innovative student grouping strategies, explicit support and recognition for faculty reform efforts from deans, and establishment of regular communication among faculty, chairs, deans, and other administrators across the three institutions.
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