Conference: Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support
May 30–31, 2019, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Application deadline: February 1, 2019
The Developing a National Research Agenda for STEM Academic Support in Higher Education conference will bring together academic support administrators, 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. The conference will provide an interactive platform for participants to identify pressing research questions, to be explored and described in a culminating white paper. The conference will also enable participants to begin developing or furthering plans for research in their respective institutions, and to establish a diverse support network of scholars and practitioners who study and support academic success of STEM students.
The conference 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.
How do I know if this conference is appropriate for me?
This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners, as well as those who engage in both activities, to collaboratively develop a research agenda. Therefore, the conference is geared toward several groups:
- Faculty members/scholars engaged in research around STEM in higher education, and who are interested in focusing on academic support
- Administrators/professionals working in STEM academic support in higher education, who may or may not be engaged in research but have an interest in furthering the knowledge base around academic support
- Individuals who have roles that blend the two categories above
If you identify with any of these groups, we invite you to submit an application to attend. Please see "Interested in joining us?" below.
How does the conference define academic support?
We define academic support as guided activity provided outside of the regular classroom, intended to enhance students’ ability to succeed in their courses. Generally, these support services are provided through student learning support centers, but in many instances they are provided through other institutional units (e.g., academic departments or schools within a university).
Benefits of attending
Conference participants will have the opportunity to
- contribute to the development of a national research agenda on STEM academic support in higher education;
- forge meaningful connections, and potential collaborations, with colleagues nationwide interested in advancing research in STEM academic support in higher education settings;
- begin to develop their own individual or collaborative research projects, with support from colleagues;
- engage in a post-conference virtual community enabling ongoing discussion; and
- think deeply about research and/or evaluation projects.
What will conference attendees do?
This will be a working conference, in which attendees actively and collaboratively engage in idea development. Individuals will work in small groups to identify and flesh out pressing national-level questions in STEM academic support in higher education, and to begin to develop or enhance their own local research plans. Administrators and researchers will work together to develop sound research ideas that help answer real questions and have the potential to generate knowledge that solves problems in the academic-support realm. The 2-day conference will include
- Keynote: Identifying and Shattering Barriers to Success in STEM—Why Academic Support Programming Holds the Key. Speaker: Saundra Yancy McGuire, Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University
- Facilitated breakout sessions on the STEM academic support landscape and research issues in STEM academic support
- Multiple small-group working sessions in which participants will develop research ideas, culminating in a shared, robust description of pressing research questions, and an eventual report
See an overview agenda.
When and where?
The conference will take place May 30 and 31, 2019 on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
There is no registration fee for the conference, so participants pay only for their own travel and lodging. The conference will include meals at no cost to participants. There are limited funds available to partially support travel and lodging for those lacking institutional funds. If you would like to explore this option, please contact us via the email addresses below by January 25.
Space is limited, so while we hope to be able to accommodate everybody who expresses interest in the conference, we are using an application system to ensure a diverse mix of professional roles and institutional types. To apply, please fill out the application form by February 1, 2019.
The conference is being organized by Marina Micari, Director, Academic Support & Learning Advancement, Northwestern University, and Jay Sriram, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, Cornerstone, Washington University in St. Louis. Conference development is supported by advisory and project committees.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1836657. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.