Supporting community college faculty across the STEM disciplines

Initial Publication Date: August 8, 2012

Science Education Resources Center (SERC), Carleton College, Northfield, MN
October 7-9, 2012

By Invitation Only


The project will bring together 25 educators representing 13 disciplines who will address the isolation of community college instructors and their lack of engagement with discipline-based professional associations and NSF-funded projects. Materials created at the workshop will be hosted on the SERC website, and thus will be supported beyond the grant's one-year time frame. This website will include materials that can be used within each discipline (ready-to-go activities for faculty development and links to existing resources to improve undergraduate education and faculty professional development) as well as shared information so that we can continue to learn from one another across disciplines. The workshop participants have a demonstrated prior commitment to enhancing community college instruction. The overall aim of the project is to improve student learning across STEM disciplines by increasing community college faculty use of existing resources.

The goals of the workshop are for workshop participants to:

  • learn what professional societies and NSF-funded projects in various disciplines have put in place to support instruction in community colleges
  • contribute to revisions of the existing project website, providing a portal to resources from STEM disciplines as well as entry points based on key issues facing community college instructors (e.g, isolation of faculty, involvement of contingent as well as full-time faculty in professional development activities, limitations imposed by resource-poor institutional settings, and issues associated with teaching students with a range of backgrounds and goals)
  • develop a set of materials appropriate for faculty development activities at individual colleges that will increase community college faculty use of existing discipline based resources available through professional associations or NSF-supported projects such at this hosted by the Science Education Resource Center
  • develop a personal action plan. Participants will commit to offering a professional development workshop for STEM faculty on their home campuses that will use the website and assess materials developed at this workshop or will commit to disseminating the faculty development materials through their professional organizations or projects.

Each participant will contribute a short (two-page) essay by September 21, answering the two questions below. These essays will be posted on the project website and will be compiled into a single pdf file before the workshop for workshop participants to read in preparation for the workshop.

1. From your perspective, what are the two things that your disciplinary professional organization or discipline-based NSF-funded project does particularly well in support of your work as an educator? Please be specific about how this activity works and why it is effective. Add web links if available.

2. If you could propose (and obtain funding for) one new activity to engage community college instructors in professional associations and other discipline-based projects related to teaching and learning, what would it be? Describe the activity, explain why it is needed and why it is not currently available.

The workshop is supported by award DUE 1238279 from the National Science Foundation. It builds on previous NSF-supported work, including a 2011 workshop in Palo Alto, CA.
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


  • Make plane reservations and register for the workshop (by Sept 1)
  • Submit bio (by Sept. 21)
  • Submit essay (by Sept 21)
  • Read essays (by Oct. 6)
  • Submit reimbursement form (Microsoft Word 21kB Aug8 12)

For More Information

Regarding the project or workshop content, please contact:

Mark Maier, Economics, Glendale Community College (CA)
Heather Macdonald, Geology, College of William & Mary (VA)
Katherine Rowell, Sociology, Sinclair Community College (OH)

Regarding workshop registration, on site facilities, and accommodations, please contact:

Krista Herbstrith, Science Education Resource Center


      Next Page »