The University of California, Davis is getting a big boost to its STEM programs.
The school announced today that it was the only school in California to win a $500,000 grant to support its science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching. More than half of the school's 25,000 undergraduates major in one of those fields.
The grant money is part of an Association of American Universities initiative that aims to "help retain students in STEM majors, especially those from historically underrepresented ethnic groups," according to a statement by the university.
The school will also invest $575,000 of its own funds to assist the effort.
"This project will enable us to better understand how our STEM students are learning at crucial moments in their degree programs and help us improve education for them," Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter said in a written statement.
The school will use some of the money to redesign core courses in those subjects using evidence-based teaching methods. It will also make them more relevant to students' future careers and improve online instruction.
The courses getting the makeover include freshman engineering design and communication, biology, mastery math, math for biologists and introductory chemistry.
UC Davis was one of eight universities selected from around the country. The winners came from a pool of 31 submissions.