Campus Models and Case Studies

University of Wisconsin–Madison

It’s a common criticism of research-intensive universities that teaching is an afterthought for faculty. The characterization isn’t always fair, but it is true that institutional incentives often favor research productivity over teaching, and many graduate students, especially in the STEM... Read More

University of Massachusetts Amherst
The iCons Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

The new Integrated Sciences Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as its name suggests, houses labs and classrooms for students and faculty from several departments. But some of the donors who had helped fund the new building expressed concern over whether the title “integrated”... Read More

Winona State University
The new sustainability minor brings a formal academic dimension to Winona State’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

When Winona State University signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, the university undertook a series of initiatives to reduce the campus’s environmental footprint. Divisions from across the southern Minnesota university—purchasing, facilities, dining... Read More

Morgan State University
One outcome of the STEM Interdisciplinary Initiative is a greater emphasis on applied learning opportunities, including undergraduate research and community-based learning.

Faculty from many of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at Morgan State University have been steadily moving toward greater interdepartmental collaboration over the last five years. At first these collaborations were informal and ad hoc. That changed in... Read More

Stanford University
STS majors in Professor Allison Carruth’s senior colloquium, “Food in Information Age,” at the Stanford Community Farm. A group of students in class used the farm as a case study for how evolving technologies have shaped agriculture and contemporary food culture.

C.P. Snow first warned against "the two cultures"—the divide between the hard sciences and the social sciences and humanities—in 1959, but many campus structures still reflect this split today. "But students actually live in a very different world," says Fred Turner, director of the Science,... Read More

Ohio State University
Ohio State University

Nearly all of Ohio State University's (OSU) 40,000-some undergraduate students take at least one science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) course as part of their general education requirements. And yet these fields have some of the greatest difficulty recruiting and retaining... Read More

Tidewater Community College
Teaching methods like learning communities help students understand how different disciplines are connected.

Tidewater Community College mathematics instructor Joseph Joyner knows that many of his students aren't exactly thrilled to be in one of his classes. "A lot of my students come to math without a feeling of security, and they don't want to be here. They've had bad math experiences," he explains... Read More

Estrella Mountain Community College
"For first-generation students in particular, we need to extend the learning environment outside the classroom as much as we can," explains Kathleen Iudicello, division chair of liberal arts at Estrella Mountain.

An educationally significant springtime ritual has taken root at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona. Now in its third year, the Maricopa Student Conference draws students out of their individual classrooms to share their academic research in an interdisciplinary scholarly... Read More

McDaniel College
The McDaniel Plan, a new general education curriculum, increases the number and depth of science courses students must take—including a mandatory laboratory experience.

In assistant professor Peter Craig's Kitchen Chemistry course, first-year college students sniff spices, boil vegetables, and investigate the properties of baking powder. His colleague Shabbir Mian's students use prisms and spectroscopes to answer questions about natural phenomena like sunsets... Read More

St. Olaf College
St. Olaf

At many colleges and universities, math departments operate as "filters," sifting out all but the strongest students until only a small number remain as math majors. At St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the opposite is true. There, the math department aims to work as a "pump," infusing... Read More

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