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Current Projects

Minority Student Pipeline Math Science Partnership (MSP)2- Awarded by the Math Science Partnership program of the National Science Foundation in 2008, (MSP)2 is a 5-year, $12.4-million project aimed at strengthening the pipeline of minority students into careers in science and science teaching. It is a partnership of Bowie State University, TU, UMCP, the USM Office (all USM institutions), Prince George's County Public Schools and Prince George's Community College. The partnership provides high-quality professional development for K-12 teachers, early college science courses for high-school students, and experiences in teaching and research for undergraduate science majors, all with a focus on research-based, inquiry-oriented science instruction. These initiatives are intended to improve science instruction at the K-12 level and increase the number of students at all levels who pursue science and science teaching. Please contact David May for further information.

Computer Science Education Expansion Grant - USM VCAA P-20 Office received a new Computer Science Education Expansion to the Minority Student Pipeline project.  The $500,000 award is a supplemental grant from NSF, continuing the partnership among USM, UMCP, and Prince George’s County Public Schools. The project will use our successful model of partnership-driven, inquiry-oriented professional development, modified by collaboration with the NSF-funded Structured CS Principles project, to prepare teachers in Prince George’s County to teach rigorous computer science (CS) lessons and courses. Approximately 15 teachers will ultimately be supported in implementing the Advanced-Placement Computer Science: Principles course in at least five schools, doubling the number of computer science courses offered in the county and bringing nationally designed and piloted courses to approximately 500 more students. This effort promises to further strengthen the minority student pipeline into STEM majors and careers by expanding the opportunities for these students into computer science.  For further information please contact David May or Dewayne Morgan.

MADE CLEAR CCEP-II Grant - The Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research partnership (MADE CLEAR) $6.2 million grant is building a sustainable infrastructure for effective and relevant climate change education within a two-state region. While MADE CLEAR focuses on formal education in grades 8-12, the partnership also reaches a broad spectrum of learners by educating teachers at universities and students of all ages through additional venues such as museums, aquaria, and nature centers. Through ongoing evaluation, the partnership is continuously improving how climate change education is delivered to students in Maryland and Delaware, and the lessons learned from this partnership are helping to craft education models that can be applied in other locations across the country. MADE CLEAR is led by faculty members at core institutions in Delaware and the University System of Maryland, including the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and Towson University; as well as the Maryland and Delaware Departments of Education and Maryland Public Television. MADE CLEAR is an outgrowth of the states' similar natural environments and climates, and their active approaches to education reform and climate change responsiveness. 

MADE CLEAR approaches specific goals and objectives through the structured engagement of educational researchers and practitioners, regional scientists and scientific institutions, and state and federal government agencies. The projects' four primary goals are: 

  1. Infuse climate change concepts in all aspects of education by engaging the scientific community in collaboration with educators; 
  2.  Build sustainable infrastructure for climate change education through teacher education and professional development; 
  3. Draw broader lessons about research and assessment to create climate education models that can be applied in other regions based on the local socio-cultural diversity; and
  4. Advance effective practice of climate change education in the Maryland-Delaware region and beyond. 

MADE CLEAR is supporting the development and distribution of teaching strategies, resources, and materials that integrate climate change science with classroom and out-of-school teaching and learning opportunities. The partnership is also promoting research on climate-related teaching and learning formats, ultimately helping to craft evidence-based educational approaches and instructional practices that deepen teacher knowledge and student understanding of climate science. 

MADE CLEAR is connecting Maryland and Delaware citizens with the world in which they live by fostering greater awareness of climate change in the local environment. The partnership empowers residents to consider the impacts of their individual and collective choices that can limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to its consequences. Through the four overarching goals outlined above, MADE CLEAR is building an enduring capacity for climate-relevant education in Maryland and Delaware, and serves as a national model for comprehensive climate change education that is adaptable and responsive to the socio-cultural diversity of different teaching settings. The partnership is developing new models of professional development that account for climate learning progressions, contributing to a greater understanding of how evidence-based practices improve the efficacy of climate change teaching and learning practices.

This project is one of six Phase II projects being funded through the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) program. The CCEP program was developed as part of the NSF Climate Change Education program, established through Congressional appropriations in FY 2009. The CCEP program is a one-time, dedicated NSF effort to establish a coordinated national network of regionally- or thematically-based partnerships devoted to increasing the adoption of effective, high quality educational programs and resources related to the science of climate change and its impacts.

The CCEP portfolio encompasses a major interdisciplinary research and development effort designed to promote deeper understanding of, and engagement with, climate system science and the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. The vision of this program is a scientifically literate society that can effectively weigh the evidence regarding global climate change as it confronts the challenges ahead, while preparing the innovative scientific and technical workforce to advance our knowledge of human-climate interactions and develop approaches for a sustainable, prosperous future. Each CCEP is required to incorporate innovative collaborations among expertise of climate scientists, learning scientists, and education practitioners in either formal or informal learning environments to research, design, and test new models and strategies for effective teaching and learning about climate science. With its focus on interdisciplinary approaches and transformative scales of impact, the CCEP program occupies a unique and complementary niche in the portfolio of Federal investments related to climate science education and workforce development. For further information please contact Pat Harcourt.

Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI) - The Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI) is the result of a day-long state conference (Counting on Our Future: Redefining Quantitative Literacy in Maryland) aimed at exploring ideas about what quantitative literacy skills students need for Maryland’s future economic success.  Over 160 participants, including faculty, K-12 teachers, administrators, and policy leaders, and representatives from national associations (AACU, Lumina, BHEF) attended the meeting to hear Dana Center Executive Director, Uri Treisman, deliver the keynote address and engage in discussions centered around recent national research on how students learn mathematics, as well as national efforts and strategies that have been developed to improve student success in mathematics and subsequent mathematics-dependent courses. During Dr. Treisman’s speech, he presented a model for mathematics reform in higher education to address the question:  What does quantitative literacy mean for Maryland education?  His model included the following elements:

  1. Multiple pathways aligned to specific fields of study
  2. Acceleration that allows students to complete a college-level math course in one year 
  3. Intentional use of strategies to help students develop skills as learners directly linked to their courses 
  4.  Curriculum design and pedagogy based on proven practice coupled with a context sensitive improvement strategy.

MMRI Steering Committee 
Shortly after the conference, MMRI was formed and co-chaired by Chancellor Brit Kirwan, University System of Maryland; State Superintendent Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Board of Education, and Bernard Sadusky, Executive Director of Maryland Association Community Colleges.  On December 1, 2014, the steering committee directed a workgroup of faculty from two-year and four year institutions to revise the COMAR language to reflect a new understanding of quantitative literacy and allow for alternative pathways of mathematical education, and to develop a charge for workgroups to develop a charge to cross-segmental curriculum committees to develop multiple pathways to quantitative literacy in college.  

MMRI Workgroup
The MMRI Steering Committee charged an MMRI Workgroup of mathematics leaders to revise the current regulatory language with respect to General Education Mathematics that would allow for multiple institutionally-developed mathematics pathways that would be better aligned with student majors and careers.   The Workgroup studied national trends, current initiatives and available statewide and national data, as they considered the future of mathematics curricula in Maryland higher education. In addition, committee developed expectations and processes that could lead to Maryland every campus to offer pathways in mathematics that yield (a) increased success for students in the study of mathematics, (b) a higher percentage of students completing degree programs, and (c) effective transferability of credits for students moving from one institution to another. The Workgroup collaborated to create a recommended definition for general education mathematics, which was passed at the June 2015 meeting of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The original COMAR (13B.06.01.03) language:

General education programs of public institutions shall require at least: (1) One course in each of two disciplines in arts and humanities; (2) One course in each of two disciplines in social and behavioral sciences; (3) Two science courses, at least one of which shall be a laboratory course; (4) One course in mathematics at or above the level of college algebra; and (5) One course in English composition. 

The revised COMAR language:

One course in mathematics, having performance expectations demonstrating a level of mathematical maturity beyond the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards in Mathematics (including problem-solving skills, and mathematical concepts and techniques that can be applied in the student’s program of study)  

MMRI Workgroup: New Pathways
The Workgroup reviewed the current developmental pathways to identify areas that may need to be revised, given the new (COMAR) regulatory language. Thus far, the Workgroup has developed the frameworks for two mathematics pathways: Statistics for non-STEM majors and Contemporary Topics in Mathematics for non-STEM majors. For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.

First in the World-MMRI Grant - The University System of Maryland (USM) is one of 15 higher education institutions in the United States to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education under the federal government's First in the World (FITW) grant program and has received a four-year, $2.98 million grant to implement its Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative (MMRI). This will introduce a new statistics curriculum for students in these majors. The statistics coursework would be as rigorous as the traditional algebra/calculus curriculum sequence required to graduate, but much more relevant to what liberal arts and social sciences students need for their majors. The award will fund USM's work in helping students who pursue degrees in the liberal arts and social sciences perform better in developmental mathematics courses early in their college career. 

In giving students an alternative to traditional remedial mathematics with more "real world" applications to the study of the liberal arts and social sciences than traditional remedial algebra courses, it is anticipated retention and graduation rates will increase.

The USM anticipates the biggest beneficiaries of this future curriculum change will be underrepresented minority students, who typically come to college with the greatest economic and academic challenges. The program will involve five USM institutions--Coppin State University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and University of Maryland University College-and several community colleges. Those 2-year institutions are Anne Arundel Community College; Garrett College; Harford Community College; Howard Community College; and Montgomery College.  For further information please contact Nancy Shapiro.

Associate of Arts in Teaching Oversight Council- The Associate of Arts in Teaching-Secondary Education degree is designed to prepare students for transfer into a baccalaureate degree program in a designated content area. Upon graduation, and meeting Maryland qualifying scores on required Praxis II tests, these students will be eligible for state certification based on the approved program at the community college and on the successful completion of a Maryland approved certification program at the receiving institution. Expected outcomes of this initiative are: a higher number of baccalaureate degrees in secondary teacher education and more minority teachers in Maryland. In 2002 the K-16 Leadership Council established a Secondary AAT Oversight Council. This Oversight Council was charged with overseeing the development and implementation of the Secondary AAT. Members of this Oversight Council consist of: three arts and sciences deans or vice presidents and one education director from the Maryland Association of Directors of Teacher Education at Community Colleges (MADTECC) to represent the two-year public colleges; one provost, two arts and sciences deans and one education dean from the USM institutions; one provost or arts and sciences dean and the education dean from Morgan State University and from St. Mary's College of Maryland; one provost or arts and sciences dean and one education dean from an independent institution; four school/LEA-based K-12 curriculum specialists; and one representative from each of the following: the University System of Maryland (USM), the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). 
By December 2002, the Secondary AAT Oversight Council identified the membership of the Faculty Discipline Committees and convened these Committees to achieve a Secondary AAT program for the following discipline areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and space sciences, English, mathematics, Spanish and physics. The Secondary AAT for these discipline areas is uniform in content at all community colleges. A report on the expected outcomes was submitted to the K-16 Leadership Council in June 2003; the expected outcomes are to: 

  • Expand and enhance to the extent necessary structure(s) for content area faculty to oversee development and implementation of the disciplinary aspect of the AAT secondary education degrees.
  • Expand and enhance to the extent necessary the group of both Arts and Sciences, TEAC members, and education faculty to work with the disciplinary bodies to oversee development and quality control of the AAT degree.
  • Implement fully articulated and seamless transfer programs without further review for community college students seeking secondary education degrees and credentials at four-year institutions.
  • Implement fully transferable courses and outcomes in each of the academic content areas.
  • Increase the potential supply of secondary education students and teachers.

Students earning the degree option would meet all requirements for transfer to the corresponding baccalaureate secondary teacher education program without further review by Maryland public and private four-year institutions. Without further review means that once a student is admitted, the receiving institution will not conduct course-by-course review since the approved outcomes for the AAT-Secondary Education degree are incorporated in the lower-division courses offered by the community college and aligned with the lower-division requirements at the four-year institution. Community college students would need to meet the same degree requirements as native students at the receiving institution; however, where possible, a transfer student would not be required to take more credits toward a particular degree than a native student. At least half of the credits for the degree will be taken at the four-year institution. 

In November of 2002, the K-16 Leadership Council (now the Governor's P-20 Council ) established and charged the Secondary AAT Oversight Council with maintaining an ongoing group of two-year and four-year discipline faculty in each Secondary AAT degree area to meet on a regular basis to make certain that in the future new courses or course changes remain consistent with the Secondary AAT expectations and commitments. The AAT Oversight Council meets four times a year to address any issues or changes with AAT degrees and to discuss possibilities for new AATs.  For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.

For more information about AAT program outcomes, please click here.

USM/MICUA Ed Deans & Directors- The USM P-20 office convenes a meeting of all of the Education Deans and Directors from USM institutions and the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities (MICUA) four times a year. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss issues that are effecting the preparation and certification of teachers in the state of Maryland. For further information please contact Dewayne Morgan.