Creative Scientific Inquiry Experiences

Ellene Tratras Contis, Eastern Michigan University

Program Description

The Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience (CSIE) is a STEM-related program funded by the U.S. Department of Education that connects students with faculty and with community projects through an integrated science curriculum.
We specialize in creating learning experiences for students in STEM fields through innovative courses and student events. Our courses are 1-2 credit hours, and faculty work with community partners to develop coursework that allows students to work on real-world problems.

Program Purpose

Retention of STEM majors to graduation

Retention strategies to prepare STEM students to be ready for the workforce

Program Goals

Improve the success (graduation) rates of our STEM majors

Program Activities

Recruiting STEM faculty Fellows workshops to train them on Academic Service-Learning strategies.
Building interdepartmental STEM faculty teams to develop themed seminars in STEM.
Recruiting first-year students to take the CSIE seminars along with their STEM classes.
Connecting to community partners for shadowing, field and research experiences.

Necessary Resources

Grant/university funding for Faculty Fellows honoraria, staff for office and both graduate and undergraduate student tutors.

Notes and Tips

Involve faculty along with students to engage in community-minded research activities for companies, government and not-for profit entities.

Evidence of Success

Over the last almost 15 years, the program has engaged over 1000 students who have found jobs, been accepted to graduate and professional schools.

Program Costs and ROI

Cost of this initiative in its first year (including start-up costs):
Average yearly costs to maintain this initiative:
Average number of individuals served per year by this initiative:
Average annual rate of success for individuals meeting this initiative's goals:

Future Work

This national model has been used in various aspects at universities. The model is transportable and scalable to other fields as well as in STEM.

References and Accessory Materials