Gateways-ND is a five-year (2015-2020) National Science Foundation (NSF), Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)-funded instructional faculty and staff development program that is designed to offer relevant, collaborative, and sustained support to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) postsecondary educators. Each fall, about 30 instructional faculty and staff at North Dakota State University form a cohort that participates in workshops and faculty learning communities (FLCs) over two years. To date, over 140 faculty and instructional staff have been a part of four cohorts. The instruction of the program is based on current evidence-based pedagogy and course design to help faculty and staff learn to create and/or reinvent STEM courses to be learner-focused and engaging. The long-term aims are to increase student learning, improve student outcomes in gateways (high-enrollment, first-year, high D, F, and W rate) STEM courses, and to form mutually supportive groups of faculty interested in teaching and learning.
Gateways-ND has been successfully running for four years. Participants come from a wide variety of STEM fields, including agricultural and technical fields that are characteristic of land-grant universities. There have also been 25 non-STEM participants, who were funded through additional sources within the Office of the Provost to extend active learning ideologies past STEM disciplines within the institution and to create diversity within the cohorts. In total, more than half of the faculty participants are women. Each cohort includes 10 full days of workshops spread over two years, as well as smaller Faculty Learning Communities that meet every three weeks during the academic year for two years. Teaching-related data is collected quantitatively using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) instrument and student attitudinal data using separate surveys.
Gateways-ND will continue for one more year (formally, through August 2020). At this time, roughly 175 instructional faculty and staff will have completed the two-year program, which will, in turn, directly impact the educational experiences of more than 30,000 students.
Motschenbacher focuses on educational program development and support, instructional improvement projects, assessment program implementation, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational reform, and university-wide administrative initiatives at North Dakota State University. Motschenbacher works to provide opportunities for faculty, instructional staff, and graduate students to advance individual and discipline-focused scholarship in the area of teaching and learning, with an aim of creating pathways that lead to student success, professional development, and institutional transformation.
Motschenbacher received a Ph.D. (2012) in Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, with a focus in Soil Physics, from the University of Arkansas. She also received an M.Ed. (2007) in the Administration of Higher Education and a B.S. (2006) in Agribusiness from Middle Tennessee State University. Prior to working at NDSU, Motschenbacher completed a research and extension education postdoc in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University and two USAID agricultural development projects in rice mechanization and post-harvest maize production in Wang’uru, Kenya and Iganga, Uganda. She also served for four years in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Sacramento (AOE-1) as an Interior Communications Electrician.
Melissa Vosen Callens is currently an assistant professor of practice in instructional design and communication at North Dakota State University, Fargo. Her areas of research and teaching interest include Popular Culture and Online Education. Her writing can be found in The Ultimate Walking Dead and Philosophy, English Journal, Communication Teacher, Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History, and A Sense of Community: Essays on the Television Series and Its Fandom, among other publications.
James Nyachwaya is an Associate professor in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and School of Education at North Dakota State University.
Emily Berg is the Director of Institutional Research and Analysis at North Dakota State University.
Paul Kelter’s 39-year career has focused on the integration and transfer of knowledge among students and teachers at all educational levels. He was the inaugural director of the Science Outreach Office at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in the late 1980’s through early 1990’s. Many of the programs he instituted via external funding are still part of that office. He was the co-PI on the successful, long-term Operation Chemistry literacy program for all levels of teachers, and parlayed that national program into grant-funded summer and year-round workshops in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and North Carolina over a 15-year period. During his 7-year tenure at Northern Illinois University (NIU), Kelter worked extensively with middle school teachers in high-Latino population communities in the service of science education. He has been at the forefront of science literacy for postsecondary students via three major chemistry textbooks, aimed at the first-year chemistry audience, as well as a book on the international impact of chemistry and learning. Kelter has won two dozen campus, state, and national awards in education, including career-long designations at distinguished teacher at the Universities of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Nebraska, and Illinois. He was Board of Trustees professor at Northern Illinois University, the highest professorship available at that university. He began present position as the inaugural director of the Office of Teaching and Learning at North Dakota State University in June 2014. His current interest is advocating for literacy in sustainable development among students and teachers.
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