Nine Community Colleges and One District Awarded $8.5 Million

Nine Community Colleges and One District Awarded $8.5 Million to Improve Learning Outcomes and Close Equity Gaps in STEM

Illustration of a online education tools and web development in action

Nine community colleges and one district are included in projects awarded a combined $8.5 million in funding to support professional development and the redesign of online science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses across the California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California systems.

Funding was awarded by the California Education Learning Lab, a division of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, in response to the Learning Lab RFP. The RFP called for projects that incorporate learning science and adaptive learning technology into curriculum and pedagogy, to improve learning outcomes and close STEM equity gaps. A community college was included in each of the winning proposals, in collaboration with California State University and University of California campuses for project implementation. 

Following are the 10 award recipients:

  • Full Grant Awardees:
    • “Building and Testing a New Model for Continuous Improvement of High-Impact Online and Hybrid College Courses,” Los Angeles Pierce College in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles
    • “Facilitating Student-Driven Learning through a Hybrid Interactive Learning Environment that Actively Listens to, Observes and Responds to Student Inputs and Behaviors,” MiraCosta College in partnership with California State University, San Marcos 
    • “Eliminating Equity Gaps in Online STEM Gateway Courses through Humanized Instruction,” Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Modesto Junior College, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and Humboldt State University
    • “The Mechanics of Inclusion and Inclusivity in Mechanics,” Allan Hancock College in partnership with the University of California, Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
    • “Developing Student Identity and Self-Perception as Capable STEM Thinkers and Learners at the Community College Level,” Diablo Valley College in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, College of Marin, and Sonoma State University
    • “Community Sourced, Data-Driven Improvements to Open, Adaptive Courseware,” Santa Ana College in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Fullerton
  • Proof-of-Concept Grant Awardees:
    • “Building College-Level Number Sense with Adaptive Technology,” Riverside City College in partnership with California State University, San Bernardino
    • “Improving Retention in Engineering: Development of Unbiased Online Gaming Modules,” American River College in partnership with the University of California, Davis and California State University, Sacramento 
    • “California Challenges in STEM Energy Education,” Bakersfield College in partnership with the University of California, Merced and California State University, Bakersfield 

One-third of students attending a California community college take at least one course online. Digital courses hold significant potential to improve access to STEM education among nontraditional students and California students from marginalized groups. In alignment with the Vision for Success, ultimately these projects will help increase overall associate degree completion and transfer rates and support the development of our future workforce. 

According to Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Faculty Mentor, Digital Innovation at California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative, “The Education Learning Lab grants will foster unparalleled collaboration across California’s higher education systems. Faculty will have the unique opportunity to test new online course design and teaching strategies to identify how to cultivate meaningful and successful online learning experiences for our STEM students. This funding shows California’s commitment to serving our diverse student population, as well as supporting innovations in online teaching and learning.” 

Full descriptions of the awarded proposals are available on the California Education Learning Lab website