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STEM Grant Proposal Boilerplate

Please note that these sections of proposal boilerplate are provided to inform faculty in developing the structure and content; however, you need to check with the relevant academic unit for the most up to date numbers. TTU Institutional Research is also a very valuable resource for obtaining updated numbers for many of the data points referenced below.


National STEM Achievement Trends

The most recent science scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) demonstrate that the US continues to struggle to educate its children in mathematics and science. For example, the 2012 NAEP Long-term Trend Mathematics Assessment shows the achievement gap among racial groups has improved since 1971; however, the gap has remained unchanged for twelfth grade students since 1990 and for 4th grade students since 2004 (NAEP, 2012). For eighth grade students the achievement gap between racial groups has narrowed consistently since 1971. Unfortunately, with the exception of fourth grade students, the gender gap has not narrowed at all since 1971. The mean scale scores across the three age groups indicate that fourth and eighth grade students are far from competent in solving problems with moderately complex procedures and reasoning. The mean for the twelfth grade students indicates only modest improvements in that these students can solve only moderately complex procedures and reasoning.  Although the NAEP Report Card assessment report boasts of statistically significant gains since 1990, the fourth grade mean score has only increased 2 points since 2007 and 4 points in eighth grade during the same time period. At both grade levels the average score is below the Proficient level. Further, the percentage of eighth grade students scoring at the Proficient level increased by only one percentage point in 2011.  The 2011 NAEP Science Achievement trends are equally unimpressive. The mean scores for all ethnic and racial groups were below the Proficient cut off score. Fewer than half of U. S. fourth and eighth grade students performed at the proficient level in science. Less than 2% in any of the two grade levels performed at the Advanced level (NCES, 2011). The average eighth-grade science score increased by only 2 points in 2011 from 2009. Although the percentages of students performing at or above the Basic and Proficient levels were higher in 2011 than in 2009, there was no significant change in the gender gap.


West Texas Demographics

There is a significant overlap between the economically disadvantaged students in these regions and the underrepresented minority students in the area. In the process of selecting economically disadvantaged students, the program will be able to secondarily target underrepresented minority students. The following table indicates the overall economic status of students applying to TTU. Total FAFSA Applicants represents the number of undergraduate students who applied to TTU for financial aid. EFC represents what a family can contribute to a student’s educational cost in a year. Students with EFC's in the $0-$3850 range have greatest need and qualify for Pell grants. The other ranges help illustrate the economic distribution within the applicant population [15].

Grant Toolbox Table 1

From a different perspective, the following table from the SPMS annual report illustrates evolving changes which are impacting the economic needs of area students.

Grant Toolbox Table 2

Beyond these statistics, there are a number of academically qualified students who could not and would not consider higher education unless they had fairly close to a “full-ride” scholarship; we will recruit the best of these by offering them four-year scholarships, placing them in well-developed cohorts, and mentoring them throughout their undergraduate careers.

Reviewing demographic distributions in the area, we note there are two major K-12 regions in West Texas. These are served by the Education Service Center (ESC) Regions 17 and 18, which are based in Lubbock and Midland, respectively. TTU is centrally located in Region 17 and MC and OC are public post-secondary institutions in the heart of Region 18, which locally serve the Hispanic and rural populations of the region. MCC, our third regional partner, serves a critical role as a primary community college for Northeastern New Mexico.  ESC Region 18 will be one of the focus points of recruiting for XXX because of the economic status of its students. It comprises a section of West Texas that is roughly the same size as the state of Indiana.  The seventeen education districts in New Mexico, which surround MCC will be a second focus point because of the rural dimensions of the area. These seventeen education districts cover an area approximately 18,500 sq. miles.  In only one of these education districts is the total population more than 20,000. Demographically, the two services regions, ESC 17 and 18, included approximately 43,000 students in grades 9-12, of which 59.6%, are classified as “economically disadvantaged” in the state’s Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) [12, 13] and 66.7% are underrepresented minorities [14].  The seventeen education districts which surround MCC serve approximately 16,500 students, of which 63.1% are underrepresented minorities [9].

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Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University is one of the major state universities in Texas, and the only one in West Texas. In the past decade, it has seen remarkable growth in its student population, the quality of its academic programs, and its research reputation. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Texas Tech offers more than 280 degree programs to over 33,000 students, and awards an estimated $13,000,000 in scholarship funds per year. The Lubbock campus is one of the largest in the country, covering over 1,800 acres. With a research budget of over $50 million per year, Texas Tech provides significant research opportunities for students pursuing careers in the sciences. In addition to research supported by individual faculty grants, organizations such as the Honors College and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute support a large number of undergraduates each year. Therefore, the campus possesses the infrastructure necessary to administer NSF funding throughout and beyond the XXX grant period. This includes extensive experience with administration of computing resources and the grant personnel have extensive experience in computer administration.

TTU Colleges

College of Education

The COEd has the largest classroom space ever built on a public university campus in Texas, with a total of 91,000 square feet. It has recently embarked on a reform agenda to increase the rigor and relevance of all its programs. Working closely with partners in public schools, community agencies, and institutions of higher learning, college faculty has developed innovative programs to prepare graduates for the educational demands of the 21st century. The COEd is accredited by 9 accrediting bodies including: Texas Education Agency, the State Board for Educator Certification, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Science Teachers Association. It is home to five research centers and over 100 tenure track faculty and 1,107 graduate students. During the last academic year, the department taught more than 43,000 semester credit hours and graduate between 250-280 graduate students per year. The COEd’s recently expanded research services office helps manage close to 100 million in external funding in the last 5 years and is well equipped to provide fiscal and administrative support to principal investigators, as well as comprehensive accounting, management information, and personnel services for sponsored projects.  The college will provide office space and computer equipment for research assistants.

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) has six academic departments and several research centers and institutes, CASNR is preparing society-ready graduates to think creatively and analytically, while conducting research on current and emerging agricultural and natural resources issues that have state, regional, national, and global impacts. CASNR is one of the leading agriculture colleges in the Unites States, with programs awarding 10 baccalaureate, 15 masters, and 7 Ph.D. degrees in agricultural sciences and natural resources. Research excellence (disciplinary as well as multidisciplinary) has been and continues to be a hallmark of the college, with over $190,000 research revenue generated by each tenured/tenure-track faculty in fiscal year 2010.

Laboratories: CASNR has laboratories in the Experimental Sciences Building (a $37 Million facility at Texas Tech University dedicated solely to research), state-of- the-art teaching and research facilities in the Animal and Food Sciences building, a biotechnology-ready greenhouse, a 2,300-acre ranch, one on-campus and two off-campus research farms, an equestrian center with four outdoor arenas and one indoor arena, and a collaborative design studio for landscape architecture. Undergraduate and graduate students conducting research have access to these facilities, equipment, laboratories, computers, office space, etc. Finally, our close vicinity to and working relationships with USDA Cropping Systems Research Laboratory - a branch of the Agriculture Research Service Southern Plains Area and Texas A&M AgriLife research and extension staff (several of them have joint appointments at TTU), allow us to share resources and provide avenues for increased visibility of our work, leading to a larger network of resources.

Greenhouses: Greenhouses managed by the Department of Plant and Soil Science consist of eight glass and aluminum National Greenhouses, a steam drying facility and a plant laboratory with 7 growth chambers, an autoclave, a growth room, and standard laboratory equipment. There are two classrooms outfitted with LCD projectors, internet access, and document cameras to assist in supporting the over 1000 students that pass through classes held at the greenhouse each year. The greenhouse complex has 4 research houses with high intensity lighting and automated temperature control to support the estimated $3,000,000 of research conducted for federal, state and private grants each year. In addition, the three teaching compartment houses house teaching collection and plant production facilities to support the laboratory experiences of our students.

Research farm: The 130-acre Quaker Avenue Research Farm is fully equipped with the needed farm-equipment (including latest model precision tractors, sprayers, irrigation equipment, drying ovens, growth chambers, etc.) and a machine shop, operated by the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Researchers from Plant and Soil Science, other departments at Texas Tech University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension, and many agribusiness companies conduct research at the farm. The Quaker Avenue Research Farm is located at 200 N. Quaker Avenue, just north of 4th street, less than a 10 minute drive from the center of the Texas Tech campus. The farm is at 33° 41' 36.4596" N, -101° 54' 18.612"W, the elevation is 3,256 feet (992 m) above sea level, and the average annual rainfall is 18.6 in (472 mm). The average dates of last and first frosts are April 1 and November 9, respectively.

TTU Academic Departments

Department of Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences (DBS) is one of the largest in the university, with 752 undergraduate majors in four B.S. programs, 59 Master’s students in four M.S. programs, and 69 doctoral students in two Ph.D. programs. For our undergraduate majors, the average SAT score is 1139, 50.3% are female, and 37.0% are ethnic minorities. Some of our recent B.S. graduates have gone on to graduate programs at Cambridge University, Purdue University, and Texas A&M University, and to medical schools throughout the country. The 40 faculty of DBS are committed to integrating teaching and research, having employed or mentored more than 100 undergraduates in their labs in the past year alone, which have resulted in numerous publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations at scientific meetings. As evidence of this commitment, DBS hosts the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the McNair Scholars Program for students from low-income backgrounds, Joint Admissions Medical Program, and the Clark Scholars Program for high-school students interested in biology. DBS faculty gave over 175 research presentations in the past year and published their research in more than 90 journal articles, books, book chapters, or reports.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas Tech University is a vibrant community of truly integrated scholarship: research, teaching, and service.The Department’s current complement of 30 faculty members are engaged in analytical, bioinorganic, environmental, inorganic, medicinal, organic, organometallic, physical, and theoretical chemistry. These efforts are enhanced, by the contributions of over 100 graduate student researchers and post-doctoral fellows in the department. The strength and vitality of the Department can be measured in a variety of ways. For instance, in a recent five-year period more than 500 research articles were published by the faculty. This strength is also reflected in the level of external research support provided to the Department. In 2012 the Dpeartment enjoyed more than $13 million in active grants. The Department is well-equipped to support cutting-eedge research. Major Departmental equipment includes: two low field (400 MHz) Jeol and one high-field (500 MHz) Varian Inova NMR spectrometers; a suite of mass spectrometers including LC-MS and GC-MS instrumentation; a fully equipped X-ray diffraction center with single-crystal and powder diffractometers; and a variety of spectrophotometers. We are also pleased to announce that a $1.5M Theory and Computation Lab renovation project has recently been completed. The new lab housed within the Chemistry features a state-of-the-art NSF funded 1200+ core computing cluster.

Department of Design

The Department of Design has four program areas: Apparel Design (BA), Interior Design (BID); Environmental Design (MS); and Interior and Environmental Design (Ph.D). The department is served by faculty with expertise in these fields of design including some with National Council of Interior Design Qualifications licensure. The programs are accredited by National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Interior Design (BID) program is accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation.

Numerous collaborative projects are in progress with partners in industry (i.e., Carillon Senior and Assisted Living, Habitat for Humanity) and across Texas Tech University (i.e., Visitors Center, Retreat Cottage, Facilities and Parking). In recent years, the department has taught approximately 324 semester credit hours (approximately 108 courses) each academic year (fall, spring, and summer semesters) and graduates approximately 100 undergraduate students and 25 graduate students over the academic year (fall, spring, and summer semesters). Undergraduate students typically enter the fields of fashion and interior design including design research, while 15 % of undergraduate students pursue education at the graduate level. Graduate students typically enter the field of higher education, or return to practice in the fields of interior design, architecture, or environmental design.

Department of Environmental Toxicology

The Department of Environmental Toxicology has 16 faculty members and approximately 50 M.S. and Ph.D. students. While the Department of Environmental Toxicology has primarily graduate students, undergraduates from the Honors College, McNair Scholars Program, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Program are actively engaged in undergraduate research in the department. In fact, co-PI YYY is a faculty mentor for two HHMI undergraduate scholars. Six faculty are currently mentors in the XXX program under the direction of co-PI YYY.

Department of Human Development & Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is served by 18 tenure track faculty with expertise in the fields of human development (prenatal through aging), family studies, interpersonal relationships, and early childhood. Degrees are offered at the undergraduate and master's and doctoral levels. Both the TTU Early Head Start and the Child Development Research Center are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and provide excellent research opportunities. Additionally, the Barton Observational Research Center, provides state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for research where live observation and video recording is possible.

Collaborative projects are in progress with community, regional, state, and national partners (Lubbock ISD, USDA/TX Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Children's Advocacy Center of the South Plains, and there are several multidisciplinary collaborations with other units at Texas Tech University. The department is one of the largest programs of its kind with nearly 1,000 students. Graduates of the department enter a variety of career areas including early childhood, education, nonprofit human services, government, public relations in business settings, ministry, human resources, and public policy.

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics at TTU dedicates itself to high quality teaching, mathematics research, and outreach activities. The department is one of the largest on campus, with 46 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 229 undergraduate majors, and 105 graduate students.  Typically 25-30% of all faculty are heavily involved in outreach programs. The department was awarded the campus wide Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. The department teaches over 73,000 student hours per year, more than any other department at TTU. This teaching obligation is met by high quality instruction as evidenced by departmental student evaluations of "overall teaching effectiveness" that typically between 4.1 and 4.2 (out of 5.0) for all courses taught. The department faculty typically publish 80-90 scholarly publications each year while making more than 100 presentations at professional venues.

TTU Centers

Center for Research on Leadership and Education (CRLE)

The CRLE will provide administrative support to the project through partnerships with internal university personnel. The CRLE, has approximately 1,500 square feet of office, meeting, and storage space in the heart of the College of Education. CRLE will provide on-campus office space and computer equipment for Co-PI YYY, education RAs as well as use of two conference rooms equipped with wireless internet services and ISDN support as well as teleconferencing equipment.

STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education (STEM-CORE)

The STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education (STEM-CORE) facilitates and supports the development of campus wide initiatives in STEM areas. The Center was developed as a collaborative endeavor involving each of the Texas Tech University STEM-area colleges. STEM-CORE places an increased emphasis on the development and maintenance of multidisciplinary efforts, which positively impact more than one of the stake-holder colleges. The retention of undergraduates in the STEM disciplines is a major challenge for all American universities - including Texas Tech. Several recent initiatives - including the establishment of STEM-CORE - exhibit the University's commitment to addressing this challenge. Promoting undergraduate research and carefully designed mentorship models have proven successful in this area, and the Center's commitment to the proposed XXX program lies squarely within this focus.

TTU Academic Programs

Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) Program

The Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) Program is served by three faculty and three adjunct faculty with expertise in all content areas addressed in the College of Human Sciences including nutrition and food science, textile science, interior design, human development and family science, and financial literacy. All faculty are experts in pedagogy and online learning and hold secondary teaching certifications in Texas and other states. Additionally, all faculty have secondary and postsecondary teaching experience. The FCSE Program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and is a teacher preparation partner with the College of Education. The FCSE Program offers three secondary teacher certification options that are available for undergraduate and graduate students. Graduates from the program have a 100% employment placement in the profession due to critical shortages of Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers and Cooperative Extension Agents.

The program collaborates consistently with The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences. The mission of The Center is to produce and disseminate instructional materials that support family and consumer sciences programs and to provide related pre-service and in-service professional development to educators and administrators within those program areas. The Center is the only curriculum center in the nation that specializes in the development of curriculum materials for family and consumer sciences content areas. The Center supports teachers with a broad range of resources, from print to multimedia to in-service training. An area of specialization for The Center is curriculum development and in-service focused on Food Science. The secondary-level Food Science course is taught through Family and Consumer Sciences and students receive one science credit in the high school graduation plans for successful course completion. The Center provides academic support for the students enrolled in the FCSE Program including use of the library which houses a multitude of curriculum resources.

The FCSE Program and The Center collaborate on the delivery of the coordination grant for the AchieveTexas College and Career Initiative—Texas' version of the 16 National Career Clusters®, which includes the STEM Career Cluster. The grant awarded through the Texas Education Agency has resulted in $3,447,877 of external funding for Texas Tech. The grant provides educational and career development resources for secondary teachers and students. Specifically, there is a College and Career Planning Guide for the STEM Career Cluster and a crosswalk of the STEM Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. The initiative also maintains a list of current educational apps for the STEM Career Cluster, as well as the other career clusters.

Community Colleges

Mesalands Community College

MCC is a comprehensive public community college and a Hispanic-Serving Institution, serves a vast rural area on the plains of eastern and northeastern New Mexico. The College’s service area encompasses some 11,860 square miles, eight school districts, four counties (Quay, Guadalupe, Harding, Union) and nearby communities, and a total population of approximately 23,000 residents. With an annualized enrollment of 2,016 students, of whom 37.5% are Hispanic, Mesalands is the only postsecondary institution in the region, providing an essential lifeline to educational and economic opportunity. Established in 1979 as the Tucumcari Area Vocational School, later known as Mesa Technical College, Mesalands was first authorized to award Associate degrees in 1993. In 2001, the institution was renamed Mesalands Community College, in recognition of its mission as a comprehensive community college offering degrees and certificates, career and technical programs, academic transfer studies, developmental education, and business and industry training. In addition to these traditional functions, Mesalands provides dual credit opportunities for area school districts and offers instruction via two-way interactive instructional television and online delivery.

Midland College

MC is a public, comprehensive community college founded in 1972 and located in the Permian Basin. The service area covers 13,292 square miles (larger than the state of Maryland) and is home to a population of 147,470 residents. Hispanics represent 48% of service area residents and 53% of the rural residents from surrounding communities. MC is in the forefront of sponsoring undergraduate research.  Beginning several years ago with three students working on various research projects, MC now has 30 students engaged in research projects in the sciences. Their students have presented their research and won various awards at the LSAMP Research Conference at the University of Texas at El Paso; the AAAS Meeting in 2-18-2010 and the Texas Tech Association of Biological Sciences Symposium.

Odessa College

OC, a Hispanic Serving Institution, founded in 1946 in Ector County, West Texas, is a public, open door, two-year community college offering quality career, technical, and academic courses for certification or associate degrees. Its service area covers 27,043 square miles and 13 counties and has a population of approximately 231,000.  The mission of OC is “Odessa College will lead the way in preparing its students and community for the future. The College offers . . . programs, and services to assist students in achieving their educational goals and becoming lifelong learners, community builders, and global citizens . . ..”

Sample Documents


STEM-CORE Associate Director Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell submitted the following documents as examples from a successfully funded proposal. Her notes on the linked documents are included below:

STEM-CORE Associate Director Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz submitted the following document as an example of an achievement summary from Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) results.