Washington State University Center for Health Science Education Research (CHSER)
Devasmita Chakraverty, Washington State University Center for Health Science Education Research (CHSER)
As the Washington State University Center for Health Science Education Research (CHSER), our most important collaborations at this time are with K-12 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Biomedical programs, our institution's health science colleges and programs, and local and rural K-12 schools. All of these connections were made through personal and professional initiatives, based on past projects. The PLTW connections occurred because our Director was the coordinator for PLTW teacher training on our campus, and visited all schools where these teachers worked to accredit their programs. As a result, those schools feel a close connection with her and our campus. The connections with the health science colleges and programs occurred through making intentional efforts to learn about their work and offer support (e.g., faculty professional development, support for their "pipeline" programs, participation in Medical Education Research meetings). They are increasingly seeing us as a valuable resource. The connections with other IHE math educators occurred through many years of our collaborative work with them in a variety of professional development (PD) projects. The connections with local and rural schools were developed through past projects and collaborations, often but not always initiated by one of our faculty members.
Current work includes direct support of our mission and vision and support for CHSER programming and visibility on campus through four initiatives: (1) targeted hires of research faculty in science education and educational psychology, who lead the CHSER research agenda through active research collaboration with health science and education faculty; interdisciplinary and interprofessional partnerships and networks such as a (2) Coordinated (Health Science) Career Education group that meets monthly to share and expand on current K-14 outreach efforts and includes faculty from each of the health sciences colleges and programs as well as local business/industry and rural school representatives; and (3) an Interprofessional Health Science Teaching Academy proposal development group that also includes health science faculty. (4) Additionally, the Director participates in university and state efforts to advise university health science colleges, such as serving on the medical school admissions committee, and the state's STEM education policy, by serving on the Governor's STEM Education Innovation Alliance that includes many business and industry members and addresses issues such as increasing underrepresented groups' participation in STEM fields.