Partnership for Retention Improvement in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (PRIMES)
PRIMES is a project sponsored by the NSF STEP Program which seeks to increase the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degrees awarded at the University of Louisville by 25% by 2016. The rationale underlying these two goals is real and compelling. The UofL 2020 Strategic Plan, a business and growth blueprint for the current decade, states that we will “Implement STEM initiatives leading to more graduates with science, technology and mathematics majors; more students majoring in engineering; and an increased cohort of science teachers for K-12.” The 2020 Strategic Plan Scorecard sets year-by-year targets using 2008 graduation statistics as baseline data. UofL’s goal is to increase by 33% the number of degrees conferred in these disciplines by 2020. PRIMES goals intentionally mirror these Scorecard metrics for growth by mid-decade.
To accomplish these goals, PRIMES focuses on two evidence drive strategies, or strands:
- The UTA Strand
This strand is a concerted effort to transform teaching and learning in STEM courses through the use of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants
- The Community Building Strand
- This strand targets improved retention by implementing University-wide and discipline-specific community building activities that foster STEM students’ sense of identification with STEM departments.
These materials are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number #DUE-1068301
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.