Spring 2014 Course: Preparing Future STEM Faculty to Meet the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations


This online course is designed to teach future STEM faculty from participating CIRTL Network Institutions how to identify and address the needs of individuals with cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The course focuses on how to implement effective curricular strategies to improve students' professional outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on building the capacity of future faculty in STEM education through self-reflection and active learning activities that will gradually modify personal and professional beliefs into a multi-cultural approach to teaching.

In this course, participants will learn about:

  • Demographic information at national, state, and local levels;
  • The social and academic context of students with diverse backgrounds;
  • Perspectives and attitudes on multicultural diversity, culture, and identity;
  • Language development, cultural linguistic patterns, and principles of second language acquisition;
  • The challenges of language proficiency and academic language; and
  • Differentiated classroom instruction and effective teaching strategies.

In addition, participants will:

  • Use Blackboard Collaborate to discuss readings and participate in active learning activities;
  • Design a STEM-related course syllabus that implements accommodations for diverse learners;
  • Deliver a STEM-related presentation demonstrating accommodations for diverse learners; and
  • Review current evidence-based STEM research and resources.


  • Instructor: Dr. Mabel Rivera, Research Assistant Professor at the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, University of Houston
  • Duration of course: January 23, 2014 - March 27, 2014
  • Synchronous meeting times: every other Thursday 5-8 ET/4-7 CT/3-6 MT/2-5 PT (1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3) *Please note that the meeting day for this course has changed from Tuesdays to Thursdays*
  • Format: The course will start January 23rd. There will be bi-weekly synchronous meetings from 5-8 ET/4-7 CT/3-6 MT/2-5 PT. Students will access readings posted in the Moodle companion website previous to class and prepare for on class discussions. In addition, students will submit Class Activity forms based on their participation in class as well as assignments specified on the course syllabus.
  • Credits: 1 credit.  Students may participate with or without credit, as they prefer.
  • Course Type: Graduate course
  • Open To: Early or advanced CIRTL Network graduate students, post docs, academic staff and faculty
  • Technologies: Blackboard Collaborate, Moodle, email