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Total STEM – Training Opportunities for Assessment and Learning in STEM

Drexel University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies (GSBSPS) has received a one-year Career Guidance for Trainees grant from the Burroughs Welcome Fund to develop a pilot assessment training program for graduate students and postdocs at GSBSPS titled: "TOTAL STEM – Training Opportunities for Assessment and Learning in STEM."

A cohort of six biomedical science doctoral students and/or postdoctoral fellows in the GSBSPS will be selected to participate in the program.


Attend an information session on July 30, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (RSVP).

During the information session, we will discuss the Total STEM program, including program structure, program deliverables and estimated hours of commitment. The session will be recorded and available for those who RSVP for the session.



TOTAL STEM will introduce participants to best assessment and evaluation practices and engage them in internal review to produce data for aligning curricular design, course content, pedagogical approaches and instruction modalities with Drexel University's mission and values. The program will increase participant assessment knowledge and confidence in the assessment of classroom and program practices and contribute to the larger body of assessment scholarship. Program participants will apply their knowledge to evaluate exams and assignments in the doctoral core courses in the Division of Biomedical Science Programs in GSBSPS, their impact on student outcomes and faculty and student perception of instructional quality. The trainees will produce a final report with actionable recommendations to improve Division courses and programs.

Who can apply?

The program is open to full-time PhD students who passed their candidacy exam and will not graduate before Spring 2022. Alternatively, the program is opened to postdocs who completed at least one year of postdoctoral training at Drexel University and plan to remain in a postdoc position at Drexel until June 2022 or beyond.

No prior teaching or assessment experience is required to apply for this program.

How to Apply to TOTAL STEM

To apply for the program, please complete the application form by Monday, August 2.

What Is TOTAL STEM About?

The quality of higher education depends on effective and continuous assessment and evaluation to align student-learning outcomes with program and institutional goals and prepare students for future employment. Program and course assessments require a working knowledge of assessment tools. However, graduate and postdoctoral training in biomedical sciences do not build competencies to lead assessment efforts.

Why Apply for TOTAL STEM

  • You will receive an allowance of $750 that can be applied to support your professional development. The money can be used to attend a scientific conference, assessment and teaching conference or workshop, or professional development workshop.
  • Assessment and evaluation are continuous endeavors. Thus, the tools to perform these activities will give YOU unique skills to distinguish you from many biomedical-science faculty.
  • The TOTAL STEM program is expected to positively influence your career as well as the future of bioscience graduate and postdoctoral education.
  • This program will also broadly contribute to your education experience by teaching you to ask the right assessment questions and select appropriate evaluation techniques.
  • Understanding how the results of assessments can inform decision making and problem-solving, in combination with research and scientific expertise, is useful for many academic career pathways, such as faculty and instructor positions, instructional designer, administrative positions (often housed in the Provost's Offices) that focus on institutional assessment efforts, faculty affairs and student advising.
  • These assessment skills are transferable to jobs involving accreditation at government agencies and consulting firms.
  • You will receive an Assessment and Evaluation Program certificate of completion.
  • You will co-author a proposal for the Annual Assessment Conference at Drexel University in September 2022 to share your experiences in the program and to foster networking with the assessment community.

How Does TOTAL STEM Work?

The selected participants will work in student/postdoc pairs and will be matched with a senior faculty member at GSBSPS. Each team will work on their own project that will complement the work of other teams. At the completion of the program, the trainees will deliver a written report and present their findings to Executive Committee on Biomedical Studies in GSBSPS.

The trainee will:

  • Attend 2021 Annual Assessment Conference and AALHE Assessment Institute.
  • Meet (in person or virtually) monthly with their mentor to discuss project progress and reflect on their experience.
  • Acquire assessment and evaluation skills by participating in three two-hour assessment workshops.
  • Attend per mentoring circle meetings every other month.
  • Participate in job search and career panel workshops every other month.
  • Apply newly acquired skills to evaluate:
    1. course assignments and exams that assess student knowledge;
    2. the student experience and perception of instructional quality; and
    3. faculty perceptions of instructional quality.
  • Write a final report and present finding to Executive Committee on Biomedical Studies in GSBSPS.
  • Co-author and present at the 2022 Annual Assessment Conference.

TOTAL STEM Program Timeline

TOTAL STEM Program Timeline

Applying to TOTAL STEM

To apply for the program, please complete the application form by Monday, August 2.

More Information

For more information, please contact Dr. Natalie Chernets at

Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
Drexel University College of Medicine
Health Sciences Building
60 N 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Natalie Chernets, PhD
Director of Postdoctoral Affairs & Professional Development

For more information, please contact the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Professional Studies

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