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Press Room

For Immediate Release

AAC&U Logo   PKAL Logo

Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement
202.387.3760, ext. 422

Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and
Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope
202.387.3760, ext. 804

Twenty Institutions Selected to Participate in New Initiative, “Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM” (TIDES)

Grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to AAC&U Provides up to $300,000 for Faculty and Curriculum Development to 14 Institutions over the Next Three Years

Washington, DC—June 19, 2014—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the 20 institutions selected for the AAC&U initiative called TIDES—Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM. The initiative will support curriculum and faculty development activities for these campuses to develop models for broader institutional change for the advancement of evidence-based and culturally competent teaching in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), particularly in the computer and information science domains.

Of the 20 institutions selected, 14 are full awardees, five received honorable mentions, and one institution is designated as noteworthy. The 14 full awardees will each receive up to $300,000 for work completed over the next three years. The TIDES initiative is funded with a $4.9 million grant to AAC&U from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The following criteria were used for selection of the 20 TIDES schools:

  • High level of institutional readiness;
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustaining project activities;
  • Targeted focus on increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the undergraduate computer/information science disciplines; and
  • Innovation in linking computer/information sciences with other STEM and non-STEM courses.

“We are both inspired and excited to partner with this diverse set of institutions and our colleagues at the Helmsley Charitable Trust to revolutionize not only what we teach at the undergraduate level, but also how we teach STEM content to an increasingly diverse student population,” said Kelly Mack, AAC&U’s Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope.

Selected Institutions Include:

Bryn Mawr College (PA)


California State University, Northridge (CA)


Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ)


Fayetteville State University (NC)


Howard University (DC)


Lawrence Tech University (MI)


Montgomery College (MD)


Morgan State University (MD)


Salish Kootenai College (MT)


Smith College (MA)


University of Dayton (OH)


University of Puerto Rico-Humacao (PR)


Westminster College (UT)


Wright State University (OH)


Connecticut College (CT)

Honorable Mention

Knox College (IL)

Honorable Mention

Ohio Northern University (OH)

Honorable Mention

Pitzer College (CA)

Honorable Mention

Queens College CUNY (NY)

Honorable Mention

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (WI)


“It is critically important for higher education to find ways to increase success in STEM fields for both women and all students from underserved communities,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “AAC&U is honored to have this opportunity to build on its historic commitment to equity and excellence through the TIDES initiative.”

The TIDES schools were selected via a two-tiered peer review process that included reviewers from a range of disciplines, both STEM and non-STEM.

Honorable mentions were noted by reviewers as having meritorious proposals. These institutions are invited to participate in the TIDES institutes to be held each year of the initiative period.

Over the next three years of the initiative, TIDES and its awardee institutions will:

  • Provide STEM faculty with opportunities to become proficient in incorporating culturally sensitive pedagogies into STEM courses
  • Develop interdisciplinary courses that include the computer/information science disciplines
  • Engage in course implementation that is grounded in evidence-based pedagogies that are culturally sensitive

See for more information about the TIDES project.

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

About PKAL

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is AAC&U's STEM higher education reform center dedicated to empowering STEM faculty, including those from underrepresented groups, to graduate more students in STEM fields who are competitively trained and liberally educated.

PKAL also works to develop a scientifically literate citizenry as part of its commitment to principles and practices central to AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative.

Since its founding in 1989, PKAL has been one of the leading advocates in the United States for transforming undergraduate STEM teaching and learning. It has to date empowered an extensive network of over 7,000 STEM faculty and administrators committed to the principles, practices, and partnerships that advance cutting-edge, integrative STEM higher education for all students. To that end, all PKAL undertakings are uniquely designed to foster quality, diversity, and social responsibility.

For more information on PKAL, see:

About the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

Helmsley Charitable TrustThe Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. Through its National Education Program, the Trust views education as a lever to advance both American economic competitiveness and individual social mobility. In K-12, the Trust focuses on ensuring all students graduate high school prepared for college or careers by supporting teacher effectiveness and the adoption and implementation of high academic standards. In postsecondary education, the Trust is primarily interested in increasing the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates who can participate in high growth sectors of the economy. The Trust also focuses on policy levers that improve postsecondary completion, particularly for underrepresented populations.

For more information, visit