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Drexel University joins national organization to support faculty pipeline in STEM

Drexel University is one of 25 research universities that are new members of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a national initiative to increase the number and diversity of STEM faculty.

CIRTL was created in 2003 with support from the National Science Foundation to promote proven teaching and mentoring techniques for STEM graduate students at research universities. It operates within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in UW-Madison’s School of Education.

Drexel is one of CIRTL’s 46 member universities — including Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University and Boston University — that collectively produce one-third of all U.S. doctoral degrees in STEM fields.

Graduate College Dean James Herbert says signing on with this one-of-a-kind national learning community provides each member institution great value.

“When we educate scientists, engineers and mathematicians, we are also educating the next generation of university faculty, and CIRTL gives universities more tools for success in that endeavor,” said James Herbert, dean of Drexel’s Graduate College. “Drexel graduates who go on to be great professors help our University maintain its global reputation for excellence.”

The initiative’s goal is to create great researchers who are also great teachers, using evidence-based strategies such connecting classroom topics to real-world situations, promoting inclusive learning, encouraging teamwork through shared projects and study groups, continually assessing student progress and using research skills to advance effective teaching practices.

As a new CIRTL member, Drexel will develop its own programs built on the CIRTL core ideas: Teaching-as-research, learning communities and learning-through-diversity. In addition, the University will collaborate on cross-network projects with CIRTL partners and participate in national offerings.

The initiative is supported by the NSF, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.