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Who Benefits? The Effect of STEM Faculty Engagement in MSP


Deep engagement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplinary faculty is a hallmark of the MSP program. The program posits that disciplinary faculty hold the knowledge that K-12 teachers need, and that if faculty are substantially involved, the chain of professional knowledge will be strengthened and result in improved student achievement. Through its RETA grant, Westat aimed to examine this assumption empirically to determine how STEM faculty members were engaged in MSP and if the involvement made any difference in enhancing teacher quality and increasing student achievement. We want to know if there are particular circumstances in which certain types of involvement contribute more or less than others on these dimensions. In essence, we ask what works, for whom, and under what circumstance through the following research questions:

1. What has the project done to engage and support STEM faculty involvement?

2. What changes have occurred in the number of STEM faculty involved, the extent and variety of their involvement, and the nature of collaboration between STEM faculty and other participants?

3. What are the effects of STEM faculty engagement on teachers, students, and STEM faculty themselves?

4. What are the effects of STEM faculty engagement on K-12 districts and institutions of higher education (IHEs)?