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CIRTL Spotlights: Northwestern University
Northwestern University benefits from robust cooperation among faculty, teaching and learning specialists, and administrators to support the development of teaching and learning practices in the STEM disciplines. The university has a number of research centers, teaching and learning programs, and other initiatives that target the professional development of future STEM faculty. A few examples are provided below.
The Searle Center for Teaching Excellence is a leading center for teaching and learning. It offers a wide array of programs to develop the teaching skills of graduate students and postdocs, and is actively engaged in research on teaching and learning issues, particularly in the STEM disciplines.
Northwestern University also invites and celebrates diversity within STEM disciplines through the Science and Engineering Committee on Multicultural Affairs (SECMA). SECMA works on recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority graduate students in Science and Engineering. SECMA created a program geared towards graduate students called Collaborative Learning and Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB), funded by NIH. This program assists underrepresented minority graduate students with the development of research and presentation skills.
The Northwestern Center for Engineering Education Research (NCEER) brings together researchers from learning sciences with engineering faculty to pursue projects aimed at promoting evidence based teaching and learning in the engineering curriculum. A unique feature of NCEER is an NSF-sponsored REU program to involve undergraduates in Bioengineering Education Research projects. The program is a collaboration among Northwestern, Vanderbilt (another CIRTL member) and the University of Texas at Austin.
The people, program and professional development opportunities at Northwestern will no doubt enhance the CIRTL Network.
In 2010, Northwestern University granted nearly 300 Ph.D’s in STEM fields.