The NSF endeavor entitled HBCU-UP Implementation Project: Education Innovation Initiatives – Ecosystem for Student Success at BSU – aims to provide support to design, implement, study and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the numbers of students and the quality of their preparation by STEM education and research. The project is grounded in theories of student science identity and constructivism and will provide a student-centered learning environment that is integrated into the STEM curriculum at the institution. Over the three years, the project will be guided by MNA’s formative and summative evaluation, as well as an internal and external steering committee feedback. The project has three goals that are related to interventions to support 1st and 2nd year STEM students and faculty as follows: 1) to develop students’ STEM identity by building student learning communities, providing near peer mentoring and providing undergraduate research learning opportunities; 2) to integrate problem-solving and entrepreneurship in the STEM curriculum by adapting technology commercialization into STEM courses, and expanding access to a maker space to support students’ multidisciplinary learning; and 3) to provide professional development and learning community opportunities to BSU faculty on evidence-based instructional practices. We are looking forward to working with the BSU team.
Kavita Mittapalli, Ph.D., is the CEO of MN Associates, Inc. She brings over 18 years of experience in conducting research and evaluation for various programs and initiatives. She started MNA while in grad school at George Mason University (VA). An agriculture graduate turned applied sociologist and a mixed methodologist by training, Kavita brings her extensive qualitative and quantitative research skills to the evaluation work she does.