Dr. Hien Nguyen had never applied for a grant before 2016. However, his first attempt was a success, winning $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Education for the implementation of a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) engagement program at MDC, West Campus – coincidentally, the first grant ever awarded to that campus. Titled STEM+METS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics for Minorities and Engaging Teaching Strategies), the program was put into effect in October and will run through September 2020. The goal is simple: increase enrollment and retention of STEM students by pairing high school seniors and firstyear MDC students with faculty and peer mentors. The engagement portion of the curriculum is based on a teaching and learning method developed by Nguyen, a computer science professor, called DynaFlip. The method, which relies on a combination of formal and informal learning, encourages students to supplement classroom group work and discussion with online notes and real-time discussion boards, allowing students to collaborate and peer mentor each other. The grant will also fund new technology and support faculty development to implement innovative teaching strategies. “The idea is, if I help you, you help two more people around you. Students don’t feel lost in class because they have support from faculty and their peers,” said Nguyen, adding that the teaching method helps increase the retention rate of STEM students. Nguyen credits Dr. Chantelle MacPhee, the arts and letter department chair of West Campus, and MDC grant writer TrudyAnn Forbes for helping him edit and refine his ideas into the winning grant proposal. “For the first 24 hours after I found out we won, I tried to stay calm and I thought of everyone who helped me get there,” Nguyen said. “I put my heart and soul into it.” – AP
Published by Miami Dade College. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/West+Campus+Wins+STEM+Studies+Grant/2952376/457024/article.html.