ECR Projects

Explore past and current fundamental STEM education research projects across the three research areas that NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program funds, as well as across ECR funding types. Other search filters draw from both NSF's data and the ECR Hub's hand coding of award abstracts.

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Second Chance STEM: Uncovering school policies structuring access to and engagement in high school STEM credit recovery

Effective Years: 2023-2028

Online STEM credit courses have become attractive to school leaders as a way to support students who fail STEM courses in face-to-face school year settings. However, there is little research about the processes involved in how schools make decisions regarding student credit recovery. The available research focuses solely on student results and is not definitive enough to support important policy decisions at the district level. This research brings redress to this policy dilemma.

The researcher will conduct three individual studies. The first study will be located in 14 schools in a large and demographically changing suburban school district. This work will be followed by a survey of optimal policy/practice combinations at the level of this particular district. Finally, results from the first two studies will support a national level survey using a representative sample from the RAND American School Leadership Panel. Results from the three studies will be interwoven to deliver a theoretical and empirical framework to support policy makers engaged in STEM credit recovery programs. Together the studies will integrate critical components of program success, cost, student engagement, and pedagogy.

This is a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) project responsive to Program Solicitation NSF 22-586 and funded jointly by the Discovery Research PreK-12 program, which seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of STEM education innovations and approaches, and NSF's EDU Core Research (ECR) program. The ECR program emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field. Investments are made in critical areas that are essential, broad, and enduring: STEM learning and STEM learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.