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tennessee technological university

Millard Oakley STEM Center

Project Abstract

A comprehensive effort to improve the mathematics abilities of science and engineering students is being undertaken. Included in the effort is the reform of precalculus and calculus courses, incorporation of active learning into mathematics courses, implementation of a uniform mathematics placement policy, and cooperation with school districts sending large numbers of students to the institution to modify high school mathematics courses to meet the expectations of the university. All the planned activities are grounded in a detailed investigation of the current reasons for the lower rate of retention of majors STEM.

The project is the result of a synergistic approach amongst faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, and the College of Engineering that utilizes best practices in STEM education to increase the number of STEM graduates. The project is both advancing knowledge in mathematics and the associated comfort level of STEM majors by removing barriers linked to poor performance in STEM math classes and the associated lower retention to graduation in a STEM major. Addressing the issue at the pre-college level through articulation with regional feeder high-schools, at the math placement level, and inside and outside the initial mathematics classroom is a holistic and potentially transformative approach.

National Science Foundation

Project Goals

  • Incorporate Active Learning in Mathematics
  • Implement Just-in-Time Academic Support
  • Integrate STEM Disciplines in Mathematics Courses
  • Articulate Math Expectations with Selected High Schools
  • Develop Student Performance Tracking Data System

MSSM Project Investigators

Dr. Allan Mills, Principal Investigator

Dr. Sally Pardue, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Stephen Robinson, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Holly Anthony, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Chris Wilson, Co-Principal Investigator