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Press Release 95-55
New Undergraduate Science Education Awards Aim Reform Institution-Wide

August 14, 1995

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) expects to make 10 to 15 awards of up to $200,000 each, to 2- and 4-year colleges and universities that have demonstrated success in revitalizing undergraduate education on a relatively modest scale and now wish to infuse the entire institution with similar gains. According to Dr. Luther Williams, NSF's Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources, through these grants, NSF seeks to foster enhanced student learning and preparation for the professional challenges that exist in an increasingly interdependent global society.

"Students from a variety of backgrounds, preparing for diverse careers, depend increasingly on undergraduate institutions to prepare them to function effectively in a society that is increasingly based on science and technology. All will require proficiency in science and mathematics in order to be competent professionals, knowledgeable consumers, and responsible citizens," Williams said.

By publicly recognizing and rewarding visionary plans based on significant previous achievements, NSF hopes to stimulate modernization of the academic culture and infrastructure, and aim for a reexamination of institutional priorities and resource allocations, which are essential for the comprehensive reform of undergraduate education," Williams added.

"We anticipate supporting activities that build on the small scale innovations that have been the basis for fundamental change within a focused area," said Robert Watson, director of NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education. "We wish to encourage the development of instructional modes that optimize learning of mathematics and science by all students, the design of programs that transcend disciplinary boundaries, and the improvement of student-teacher interactions," Watson added.

This emphasis on recognizing and promoting institutional reform of undergraduate education is an extension of the NSF's Course and Curriculum Development Program which seeks to prepare an increasingly diverse undergraduate student body to navigate in the information-, science- and technology-based society of the future. The increasing diversity of students and the broader mission of undergraduate instruction in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education require pedagogical approaches that are sensitive to variations in cultural and academic backgrounds and learning styles.

Closing date for submissions will be December 4, 1995. Proposals must be submitted by the institution's president. Requests for information should be addressed to the Division of Undergraduate Education, Room 835, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Njuguna Kabugi, NSF, (703) 306-1070, nkabugi@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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