Undergraduate STEM Education

Through its Office of Undergraduate STEM Education, AAC&U works to empower institutions of higher education to catalyze higher education reform in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); lead national efforts that foster discovery and innovation in STEM faculty professional development; and advance equity in service to building a diverse, competitively trained STEM workforce.


The AAC&U Inclusive Excellence Commission was established in 2016 to complement Inclusive Excellence: Engaging All Students in Science, an initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) that challenges US colleges and universities to substantially and sustainably increase their capacity for inclusion of all students, especially those from groups underrepresented in science. The commission evaluates campus interventions implemented through the initiative by HHMI grantees.

The Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) seeks to reposition historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from the margins to the center of research, practice, and discourse in STEM higher education and to broaden substantially the participation of marginalized students. Founded in 2016 as a joint enterprise of AAC&U, the University of the Virgin Islands, Fielding Graduate University, and North Carolina A&T State University, CASL now includes thirty affiliated HBCUs.

The Knowledge Exchange is a multifaceted initiative that leverages the national convening power of AAC&U and its STEM Central web platform to provide professional development opportunities for disciplinary STEM faculty, higher education theorists, and STEM education researchers. Through a highly integrated hybrid of virtual and face-to-face interactions, the Knowledge Exchange seeks to build momentum for reform of the systems and structures of privilege within STEM higher education.

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

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Regional Networks provide STEM faculty with professional networking opportunities that support faculty development, enhance undergraduate STEM student learning and content mastery, and facilitate institutional change. Each network conducts up to two regional meetings per academic year, focusing on topics of interest to the STEM higher education community. The networks also serve to disseminate best practices within and across various institutional settings.

STEM Central is an online networking platform that serves as a resource for STEM faculty who are working to improve and transform undergraduate STEM education in the United States through the study and practice of broadening participation. Since its launch in 2011, the STEM Central community of practice has grown to include more than three thousand STEM faculty and administrators from colleges and universities across the country, including minority serving institutions and community colleges.

Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES) is an initiative to improve learning outcomes and retention for students historically underrepresented in the computer/information sciences and related STEM disciplines. The goals are to develop and implement new curricula and to empower STEM faculty to adopt culturally sensitive pedagogies and sustain the changes in practice required to make STEM teaching both relevant and inclusive.

Featured Publications


My Tenure Trek™ is a professional development tool that provides STEM faculty with real-life experiences that mirror the influences of power and privilege in STEM higher education.

Webinars On-Demand

Video recordings of the following webinars are available to watch on-demand:

Campus Models and Case Studies

Changing the Culture of STEM: The Quantitative Skills Center at Pomona College

In 2009–10, a group of Pomona College faculty members discovered they had a STEM problem. Looking at the college’s data, they saw that some students—especially black and Hispanic students—were not... Read More

The Grand Challenges Scholars Program: Integrating Liberal Arts and STEM

In 2006, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) convened a committee of eighteen of the biggest names in engineering—including former US secretary of defense William Perry and Google cofounder... Read More