Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology
Grambling State University established the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology (CMAST) in the fall of 2005 and received funding for the second phase in 2011. The Center seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority graduates with majors in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). The Center is pursuing this agenda through the reform of all introductory STEM courses, through research in education, summer programs for a select group of students, scholarships, undergraduate research, and mentoring. The Center provides the means for GSU to engage in the systematic examination and improvement of instruction in introductory biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering technology, mathematics, and physics, thereby addressing a major obstacle, one which has limited the retention of students in STEM fields. It enhances the role and function of science and mathematics in the curriculum and significantly raises the profile of study and career opportunities in STEM fields. The Center supports research on teaching methodologies and strategies of introductory college-level STEM courses and supports research in problem-based learning strategies, which involves student participation.
- Increase the number of STEM majors.
- Improve student performance in STEM courses.
- Increase the average grade point average of STEM majors.
- Increase STEM majors engaging in undergraduate research projects.
- Increase STEM graduates enrolling in STEM graduate programs.
- Increase the number of STEM graduates certified to teach K-12
- Increase the number of STEM faculty that infuse an inquiry-based approach to teaching STEM content.
COMPONENTS OF CMAST
RESTRUCTURING OF INTRODUCTORY STEM COURSES
The introductory STEM courses are reformed in the following ways:
- Use of application to introduce topics.
- Development of modules that strategically use inquiry-based learning techniques and applications.
- Use of POGIL activities.
FACULTY/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Consistent with the mission and institutional goals of Grambling State University, an important interest of the CMAST program is the growth and development of STEM faculty. The CMAST program supports and promotes faculty development by sponsoring workshops and seminars on research in STEM fields and on the use of innovative instructional methods and programs.
INSTITUTION OF SCHOLARS’ PROGRAM
The purpose of the scholars’ program is to enhance the science/mathematics foundation of STEM majors. This is done by providing enrichment activities that include a High Ability Partnership, STEM Learning Community, Rising Sophomore Academy, Seminar Series, Mentoring/Research, and Graduate School Preparation.
Outreach Program-High Ability
A collaborative effort between CMAST and the Office of Retention, this 5-week program, which runs simultaneously with Grambling State University’s Summer Session II, allows qualified participants who have completed their high school junior year and who have a 3.0 or above grade point average to earn six (6) college credit hours. There is also an intensive science component in which the students conduct science fair projects and present their research. There is a $350* fee to cover incidentals and activities. Housing, meals, and textbooks are complementary. Each participant receives a $200 stipend, which can be applied to the $350 fee.
*Fee subject to change.
STEM Learning Community
The STEM Learning Community is offered for first year college students and transfer students majoring in a STEM field. There currently are two STEM Learning Communities at GSU: (1) consisting of students majoring in Biology and (2) a combination of those majoring in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, or Mathematics and Physics. These communities allow freshmen the opportunity to collaborate with each other and develop strong foundations in science through shared classes, social activities, peer academic coaching, and faculty mentoring. Each participant is required to enroll in the two courses specifically assigned to the STEM Learning Community, attend assigned tutorial sessions, and attend student development workshops. All participants receive a $500 textbook award.
Rising Sophomore Academy
At the end of the freshman year, STEM Learning Community students are invited to participate in a 3-week, summer research program on the campus of Grambling State University. This Academy focuses on experimental measurements in the biological and physical sciences. Students participating in the academy receive complimentary housing, meals, an $800 stipend and a $500 textbook award the following fall semester.
Each academic year, a seminar series is conducted to introduce STEM majors to topics that extend classroom and laboratory work, and to stimulate student interest in pursuing graduate studies in STEM areas.
During the academic year, beginning at the sophomore level, students participate in research with a GSU faculty/mentor. Students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate summer research opportunities at other universities and research laboratories during the summer. Academic coaches who are qualified upperclassmen serve as tutors and mentors for the STEM Learning Community.
Academic Coach Application
Graduate School Preparation
The GRE preparation workshop focuses on essay writing and the verbal component of the exam. CMAST provides partial support for the GRE registration fee. During the junior year, each scholar is required to explore graduate schools that have STEM programs that match his/her interest and career goals. CMAST provides travel support for scholars to visit graduate schools.
For additional information contact
Grambling State University
College of Arts & Sciences/CMAST
403 Main Street
Grambling, Louisiana 71245
Phone: (318) 274-6200 or 4006
Fax: (318) 274-3230
CMAST is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.