ASU 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Project: Research project

Project Details


ASU 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship Program Science Foundation of Arizona: 2013 Research Fellows K12 Teaching/Mentoring and Time to Degree In the coming year ASU will continue the graduate course, GRD 598, to provide a formal framework for the students to learn about creating learning experiences for K12 students in STEM education. Through our partnership with existing science and engineering centers at ASU our students will have the opportunity to engage Elementary, Middle and High School students in both after school and in-class educational activities. Students will have opportunities to work in diverse communities, for example Kyrene School District, Peoria Unified School District, Liberty Elementary District and the Baboquivari Unified School District. Reading, writing and mathematics drive the elementary school curriculum, and with the development of the new English Language Arts Common Core Standards there is a fundamental shift in the amount of nonfiction text included in the elementary school curriculum. This shift provides a unique opportunity to bring science content to the elementary school classroom through English Language Arts standards. In addition to expanding our successful instructional activities we will also develop graduate students written communication skills and create valuable resources for teachers across Arizona through the Ask an Expert program. Ask an Expert is a well-established (over 1 million unique visits per year) program, initially focused in biology and now extending to Energy and Engineering. Ask an Expert has an established curriculum development tools which will guide students on the development of content for the site. Science education experts will work with students to developed high quality non-fiction reading materials for students, disseminated through the Ask an Expert program. The combination of an established, successful curriculum development program, the graduate students developing content expertise, and science education experts to support the graduate students communication efforts will result in an explosion of new high quality science curricula and nonfiction text providing support for elementary teachers throughout the state of Arizona, and science and engineering graduate students who have significant experience communicating their technical knowledge to non-technical audiences. ASU was one of several universities that participated as a research partner in the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Doctoral Completion Survey. The report PhD Completion and Attrition: Policies and Practices to Promote Student Success (CGS, Washington DC, 2010) documents several key best practices for retention and completion. These include competitive and consistent funding (including dissertation year support), available professional development programs, clear guidelines and resources for navigating the graduate program. ASU has supplemented the previous SFAz GRF program by providing all addition cost of education expenses while students are funded as a GRF, and by ensuring assistantship support in subsequent years. The GRFs are also encouraged to participate in the Preparing Future Faculty and Strategies for Success programs offered by the Graduate College. These programs equip students with the tools to be successful in their graduate programs and career. As detailed in the previous section, most GRF students are completing their PhDs in four years, which is above the average time for a PhD reported by the Doctoral Completion Survey (between 20 and 30% completion in STEM after 4 years). The challenge is still there to improve retention and to maintain success. The Graduate College is currently in the process of enhancing graduate professional development programs to emphasize on career preparation and provide a broader focus on transferable skills that can best equip students for professional success. Many of these transferable skills (for example, writing and communication, leadership) are also skills needed to be successful in a graduate program, and help to maintain the already impressive rate of degree completion.
Effective start/end date6/1/1312/31/14


  • Science Foundation of Arizona: $631,750.00


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