Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Building Strong STEM Departments

Building Strong STEM Departments

The Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, during construction.

(STEM = Science + Technology + Engineering + Mathematics)

The resources below, from the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project, highlight strategies and tools that any STEM department (and many other departments) can use to strengthen curricula and programs, to plan and conduct program assessments, to recruit students, or to become or remain a valued institutional partner. There are also resources specifically for department heads and chairs. While the examples and case studies on our website are taken from the geosciences, most of the strategies are broadly transferable.

Curricula and Programs

Curricula and programs form the core of a department; developing and reviewing curricula and programs are some of the most important activities a department undertakes. While every department is unique, we can learn a lot from each other's successes, and from our colleagues in other STEM disciplines.

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SWOT diagram

Program Assessment and Review

How do you know whether your program is working, or which parts are working best and which could be more effective? With so many demands on your time and energy, you want to be sure that the time and energy you put into your program is achieving your departmental goals. Assess your program elements, so that you can maximize the return on your investments.

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Student Recruitment

Recruiting a critical mass of high quality students is essential to building a successful program. These pages present many tried-and-true strategies for doing that, along with examples of how various departments have implemented those strategies. While some STEM disciplines typically have more students than they may need, others have to work to capture students' attention. Although all of the pages listed below feature examples taken from the geosciences, the strategies they describe can easily be adapted to any field of study.

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Being a Valued Institutional Partner

Being a valued institutional partner requires doing good work and making sure that administrators know about it and understand why your work is important. As faculty members, we may feel that it is not our job to explain why our discipline is essential. Yet, if we don't do so, who will?

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Heads and Chairs

When you find yourself in a position of leadership for which you have received no training, the following resources may help you navigate the waters.

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