National Science Foundation Awards $200K Grant to CSUSB for STEM Education

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Jun 13, 2023

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  • The $200,000 grant awarded to Cal State San Bernardino’s JHBC seeks to enhance online STEM education for undergraduate students in Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
  • The grant aims to address the unique challenges faced by Hispanic students pursuing STEM education in online settings.
  • The team of experts, led by co-principal investigators from JHBC, will collaborate to delve into the challenges faced by students in online STEM education and identify effective strategies for improvement.

Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration (JHBC) has been awarded a significant grant of nearly $200,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

The grant aims to enhance online STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for undergraduate students belonging to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). This collaborative approach unifies faculty members from various disciplines to address the student’s challenges in the online STEM education environment.

Understanding the Need for Improvement

HSIs play a crucial role in fostering higher education opportunities for Hispanic students. However, there are unique obstacles that these students encounter when pursuing STEM education in online environments. 

The grant proposal, funded by a JHBC seed grant, enabled the university to assemble a dedicated team of experts to delve into these challenges and identify effective strategies for improvement.

Research Objectives and Goals

The project has outlined several key goals that will guide its research endeavors. These objectives are below:

  1. To engage student learning based on Hispanic students’ specific needs and preferences.
  2. To enhance learning achievement in online STEM education.
  3. To improve student retention rates.
  4. To increase graduation rates among Hispanic students.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

The project represents a collaborative effort among faculty members from three colleges at CSUSB and encompasses four STEM disciplines. The co-principal investigators include Anna Ni, associate dean of the Jack H. Brown College and professor of public administration; Yunfei Hou, associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering; Miranda M. McIntyre, assistant professor in psychology and Faculty Fellow at CSUSB; and Pamela Medina, associate professor of public administration.

Expanding Expertise 

In addition to the core team, the project benefits from the expertise of other esteemed members. Monty Van Wart, professor of public administration; Jing Zhang, associate professor of management; Yu Liu, associate professor of accounting and finance; and Gogle Serferoglu, an educational expert, contribute their knowledge to ensure comprehensive research.

The CSUSB Online Teaching Research Team

Established in 2018 and spearheaded by Monty Van Wart and Anna Ni, the project is an integral part of the CSUSB Online Teaching Research Team. With over 30 faculty members and publishing 16 peer-reviewed articles, the team has made numerous key contributions to the field of education.

Advancing STEM Education in HSIs

The grant awarded to CSUSB signifies a significant step towards tackling Hispanic students’ challenges in online STEM education. By focusing on understanding the needs and preferences of these students, identifying best practices, and disseminating the findings, this research project aims to enhance learning outcomes, increase retention rates, and improve graduation rates for Hispanic STEM education students.

Conclusion

CSUSB’s receipt of the grant from the National Science Foundation highlights its commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in education. Through collaboration and research, the university aims to make a lasting impact on online STEM education in Hispanic-Serving Institutions. This will help enhance opportunities for success for Hispanic students who wish to pursue STEM disciplines.

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