CIRTL Spotlights: Iowa State University

We continue our CIRTL Spotlights series with Iowa State University.

Iowa State University (ISU) is a new member of the CIRTL network and is continually looking for ways to improve opportunities for STEM graduates. The University has approximately 4,957 graduate students, 745 teaching assistants, and 278 postdoctoral fellows.

In 1993, ISU established the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) which supports graduate students and post-doctoral scholars with four programs: 1) Preparing Future Faculty program (PFF) 2) the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) program, an annual institute and year-long community to mentor faculty and graduate students to assess and publish student learning in their classes, 3) the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate (GSTC), professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in pedagogy and teaching practice, and 4) the Learning Technologies group (LT). These programs work with graduate students and faculty in order to make a more cohesive unit that promotes goals that parallel those of the CIRTL network.

Over the years ISU has created a strong infrastructure of undergraduate learning communities. The university currently has 11 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs in which they seek to attract students to STEM fields through research experience. These programs also give graduate students and postdoctoral fellows experience through supervising the undergraduates in their research. The Ronald McNair and George Washington Carver programs provide mentored research programs for over 50 under-represented minority ISU students.

In 2010, Iowa State graduated 163 Ph.D’s in STEM related fields.