About WMC's STEM Writing Initiative

WMC's STEM Writing Initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's five-year HSI Grant and part of CI's Project AYUDAS  (2022-2027). The initiative aims to strengthen STEM student success pipeline and transform STEM pathways for retention and success, particularly for Latinx and Low-Income Students. WMC's part in this project is to support faculty in integrating student writing/communication in STEM courses, support students in building technical and science writing and communication skills, support the training of STEM writing tutors, and promote the culture of writing in the STEM fields.

Why STEM Writing:  The most recent report released by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (2017) underscores a continuing need to close the equity gap in the STEM fields: nationally, the percentages of underrepresented minorities are still disproportionately low in both STEM education and employment. Studies have suggested that success in STEM, whether in the academic discipline or in STEM-related industries, may require more than content knowledge.  STEM writing supports understanding of STEM knowledge, graduation rate, and success after graduation.  Writing is a critical pedagogical tool to help students make sense of knowledge and translate their understanding in undergraduate and graduate STEM education.

STEM Writing Initiative offers the following:

  • STEM Writing Initiative MiniGrants ($1000) to faculty who are interested in revising or integrating writing in their current courses. Application opens all funds are used for the fiscal year.
  • STEM Writing Workshops, developed by WMC Team (STEM WI Academic Lead and/or WMC Faculty Director) for live (virtual) or asynchronous presentations.
  • Faculty Consultations with WMC Team (STEM WI Activity Lead and WMC Faculty Director).  The WMC Team can meet with faculty to discuss students' needs and issues related to writing and communication in STEM.

About the STEM Writing Initiative MiniGrant

  • Faculty receiving the MiniGrant will work with the WMC Faculty Director and the WI Activity Lead during the semester to discuss their ideas for writing in the course. They will arrange at least two (2) live meetings via zoom.
  • Faculty and the WMC STEM Team will work together to discuss a written or multimodal assignment in a course they teach or other ways to incorporate and improve writing in the course.  The modified or new assignment or activity will be implemented in the next semester. 
  • The MiniGrant requirements are completed when faculty answer a brief exit survey and share the updated syllabus/assignment with changes.  Upon completion of this survey, faculty will receive their MiniGrant stipend ($1000).
Selection Criteria:
WMC will be selecting faculty on three main factors:
  • Category of STEM field in which the course belongs, based on the federal HSI Grant definition of STEM: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Earth Science, and Math. We hope to have a diverse range of disciplines represented each year.
  • Level of interest and kind of project the faculty hopes to revise or integrate.
  • Whether the applicant has received the award previously. Priority is given to faculty who have never received the award.

To apply, please fill out the STEM WI MiniGrant Interest Form.

For more information about the program or questions about the STEM Writing Initiative, please contact Dr. Sohui Lee (sohui.lee@csuci.edu) or Dan Lenz (daniel.lenz@csuci.edu).  For information about the STEM WI Activity Lead, visit the faculty biography page.

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