Overall Focus and Approach

The Implementing Change Working Group (WG 3) will articulate the ways in which administrative and institutional structures, tools, and data intentionally and unintentionally inhibit programs, initiatives, and efforts focused on undergraduate STEM success.

Our projects will identify these examples through information gathering and dissemination, as well as executing actual collaborative projects to produce first hand identification of both favorable conditions/approaches and unfavorable constraints/structures that influence progress.

Projects 1 and 4 include internal parallel tracks in which SEISMIC campuses will collaborate around common research and/or tool adoption while determining the factors that are aiding and hindering project advancement at the institutions. Project 1 is also in direct collaboration with the Measurement Working Group (WG 1), Project 1. In attempting actual multi-campus collaborations, we will gain insights into the conditions that influence project success and factors that pose roadblocks to these campus partnerships.

Project 2 is currently doing a lightweight review of current SEISMIC campus programs to catalogue existing undergraduate STEM student success efforts, while also capturing self-reported perceived institutional factors that have advanced or impeded progress. This information will be anonymized and aggregated to identify any common patterns that can inform how one might navigate structures to improve program progress and remove barriers.

Project 3 is looking at practical ways in which faculty and administrators navigate an institution/structures/roles in order to overcome challenges and realize structural benefits. A “How-To” guide for introductory STEM education reformers is a potential first product.

Specific projects in progress and/or under consideration are described below. New project co-leads are welcomed, as are potential publications and targeted grant proposals as we move into the second year of SEISMIC.


For information on upcoming meetings, past meeting notes, and to fill out open polls for scheduling new meetings, please visit our  Current Activity wiki on OSF. If you cannot access this page, make sure you have made a (free) OSF account and then email nitaked@umich.edu to receive access.


Key Projects

Building Awareness and Empathy for introductory STEM students to improve STEM instruction at faculty and administrator levels

Project Leads

Project Description

This project relates to the Measurement Working Group’s “Exploring Intersectionality in Introductory STEM Courses” project (WG 1 P1), but focuses on the big picture of how to communicate results of these analyses to build awareness and empathy at the institutional level. This team will first use institutional data to examine the relationship between opportunity and outcomes with students who have different, and intersecting, characteristics. Then, they will create compelling visualizations and narratives that they can put in front of focused groups of administrators. This will support the work to create a playbook for SEISMIC participants on how to communicate the story, and to whom, on our campuses and nationwide. Following this work, the team will explore how the messages spread and what the responses are from faculty, administrators, and students, using this information as well as the results from the Measurement Working Group to fine-tune the messages. Our institutions need to do more than merely perpetuate privilege, they need to create greater opportunities to learn for those who have had less privilege.

Big Questions

  1. How does prior opportunity affect outcomes? What are fruitful approaches to measuring prior opportunity?
  2. What learning environments/ course structures in intro STEM courses lead to fewer equity gaps?
  3. What are the barriers/ opportunities for intro STEM course improvements?
  4. How do we craft stories to inspire change?

Campus snapshots of introductory STEM programs and tools

Project Leads

Project Parts

  1. Snapshot of Current Programs Impacting Introductory STEM - What are the institutional supports and constraints?
  2. Snapshot of Current Research- and Data- Based Tools Impacting Introductory STEM - How are they characterized and implemented?

Developing navigational capital to influence organizational change

Project Leads

Project Description

This team will create a document to help SEISMIC participants to influence change related to STEM introductory courses on their campus. The document will include methods that SEISMIC participants can use to study their institutions, identify opportunities and allies, and take strategic action to garner support for creating inclusive STEM introductory courses. The team will coordinate with the “Campus Snapshots” project to build on existing activity and pilot the strategies with SEISMIC participants on each campus.

Project Parts

  1. Create a primer for how public R1s make decisions around instruction (understanding the environment you are acting in, things to consider when proceeding with programs)
  2. Incorporate feedback from SEISMIC partners/ institutions

Tools that influence intro STEM structures and beyond

Project Leads

Project Parts

  • Cross-Campus Collaboration: deeper dive on what tools exist and their purpose, how to scale shared student success tools and research
  • Sharing of Tools: discover how we are sharing data and tools with constituents, then cross-pollinate ideas/ approaches throughout network
  • Key Replication: Identify key tool elements across SEISMIC that can be locally repeated with impact (partial clones, ...)