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Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support

Read the research agenda developed out of the conference discussion.

The Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support in Higher Education conference took place May 30 and 31, 2019, at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. The conference brought together academic support administrators, STEM faculty, STEM education scholars, and others engaged in supporting academic success of STEM students, for the purpose of collaboratively creating an enhanced national agenda for research on academic support in STEM at the college level. Conference participants worked to identify pressing research questions, which will be explored and described in a culminating white paper. Attendees also began developing or furthering plans for individual or collaborative research in their respective institutions.

Ninety-six people participated in the conference, comprising 57 administrators and 39 faculty, and representing 26 US states and one Canadian province. They came from an array of institutional types, including 4-year public institutions, 4-year private institutions, and community colleges; approximately 15% are minority-serving institutions.

people talking at a table  groups seated at round tables woman talking with microphone  people talking at table

Future work and ongoing community

The work of the conference continued past the event dates, with

  • a research agenda document developed based on conference discussion,
  • continued virtual conversations, and
  • shared resources and other tools supporting local projects, and enabling a network of scholars and practitioners who study and support academic success of STEM students.


This project is organized by Marina Micari, Director, Academic Support & Learning Advancement, Northwestern University, and Jay Sriram, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, The Learning Center, Washington University in St. Louis. Conference development was supported by advisory and project committees.


This pNSF logoroject is a collaboration between Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis, and is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate Science Education (IUSE) program (DUE-1836657). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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