North Park University Awarded NSF-HSI Grant

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Grant Supports Diverse Student Success in STEM Majors

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded North Park University a $413,066 grant to support student success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math majors (STEM), with a focus on the university's diverse student population.

North Park University is an urban, intercultural, and Christian university located in Chicago. Visit
North Park University is an urban, intercultural, and Christian university located in Chicago. Visit

North Park is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and this work supports NSF's commitment to developing a more diverse and capable workforce within STEM.

North Park's initiative – "HSI Implementation and Evaluation Project: Advancing the Reach and Scope of Supplemental Instruction" – will study, adapt, and replicate the evidence-based practice of Supplemental Instruction to increase student success in entry-level courses required for STEM majors.

Supplemental Instruction is an advanced form of tutoring using collaboration and group study to help students succeed in traditionally difficult academic courses. Supplemental Instruction Leaders – peer students who have already succeeded in those courses – are trained to assist current students.

"The NSF-HSI grant will fund the expansion of our Supplemental Instruction programming across the Division of Sciences," said Dr. Lindsey Alexander, assistant professor of biology at North Park and Primary Investigator on the project team. "North Park faculty will engage in cutting-edge pedagogical research in an effort to validate the efficacy of our proposed intervention. We are very excited about the potential for these resources to enhance the North Park student experience."

The project will adapt Supplemental Instruction to online learning; improve students' understanding of their own learning and thought processes; and increase positive attitudes toward STEM education and STEM careers among underrepresented students who are enrolled in entry-level STEM courses or employed as Supplemental Instruction Leaders.

The experience of students serving as Supplemental Instruction Leaders will be enhanced through training in innovative teaching methods, and close collaboration with faculty and staff, in face-to-face and virtual classroom settings.

"We are striving for excellent, equitable outcomes as we live into our intercultural distinctive," North Park University President Mary K. Surridge said. "And those are exactly the outcomes that these NSF-HSI federal grant dollars will fund on our campus, and help our bright students to achieve. NSF has awarded North Park more than one million dollars over the past two years, and we will continue to pursue these strategic and essential funds."


North Park University is city-centered, intercultural, and emerging as the model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.


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