The ARISE Program is an institutional-level program aimed at enriching the way STEM courses are taught at UNL.  It is a three-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the WIDER (Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms) Program**.

ARISE's Goals

The goals of ARISE's campus activities are to enrich the way STEM courses are taught at UNL and to facilitate departmental change in how teaching is valued, evaluated, and rewarded.

The goal of the project’s research aims to provide empirical evidence for when and why faculty members make changes to the way they teach, thereby filling a major void in published literature.  From this research, and through broad dissemination, the project has the potential to broadly impact other institutions seeking transformative change in teaching practice.

Part of the approach to achieving the goal of transforming the way STEM courses are taught at UNL includes:

  • professional development series for STEM faculty to learn about and experiment with research-based instructional design strategies (RBISs)
  • mentoring program to encourage collegial interchange on teaching; experimentation of teaching methods; and a supportive community of practice to transform STEM education across the UNL campus
  • in-depth interactions with unit leaders about effective teaching, departmental cultures and how promotion and tenure protocols might be revised to better account for the use of transformative teaching practices

Campus Impact: 

Fourteen STEM department chairs and heads are collaborating with ARISE team members in affecting the changes at UNL.  They will help identify department faculty to participate in the professional development program, provide necessary support for those participants, and participate in the roundtable discussions on teaching improvement and reform.  

Participating Academic Units:

Department of Agronomy & Horticulture
Department of Animal Sciences
School of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Chemistry
Department of Civil Engineering
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Department of Electrical Engineering
Department of Entomology
Department of Mathematics
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Over the course of the project, through the involvement of the 14 departments, the project team expects to engage 100 STEM faculty and, in varying degrees, transform approximately 50 STEM courses, thereby exposing approximately 5,000 undergraduate students to research-supported instruction. 

**The chief goal of WIDER (Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms) Program is to transform institutions of higher education into supportive environments for STEM faculty members to substantially increase their use of evidence-based teaching and learning practices to improved student learning; increased numbers of students choosing STEM majors (particularly from demographic groups underrepresented in STEM); and improve retention of those students.

For information about this program contact:

Dr. Lance Perez (PI and Project Director)—lperez1@unl.edu

Funding Provided 
  Project Led
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