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Whitaker Center

Whitaker Center

SPARCT Program



SPARCT (STEM Professional Academy to Reinvigorate the Culture of Teaching) is at its heart at program for STEM faculty to improve the delivery of evidence-based practices in the Introductory STEM classroom, while enhancing student learning, a learning community among STEM faculty, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). As of Summer 2017, about 1/3 of the STEM faculty teaching introductory STEM courses have participated in SPARCT. 

Who can apply?

Faculty who identify as STEM faculty are welcome to apply regardless of employment status (adjuncts, visiting, instructors, etc.). Preference may be given to STEM faculty teaching introductory STEM courses.


The SPARCT Faculty Learning Community (FLC) held monthly during the academic year is open to all STEM faculty regardless of whether they have attended the SPARCT Academy. Information on meeting times will be posted here.


Questions? Contact Laura Frost.

Coming Events:

Tues. Oct. 17, 2017   "Fumbles and Recoveries" 2PM Lucas Center (LIB221)
Wed. Nov. 1, 2017    "Cognitive Principles of Effective Teaching" 3:00-4:00PM RH139
Tues. Nov. 7, 2017   SPARCT & SoTL 2PM Lucas Center (LIB221)
Wed. Nov. 15, 2017   "Inclusion in the STEM Classroom" 3:00-4:00PM RH139

Welcome the 2017 SPARCT Cohort:

Mary Abercrombie       Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences
Enas Awad   Department of Mathematics
Matthew Baxter   Department of Mathematics
Bibiana Lopez   Department of Mathematics
Sandy Maldonado   Department of Mathematics
Sari Paikoff   Department of Chemistry and Physics
Daniel Paull   Department of Chemistry and Physics
Maggie Swanson   Department of Mathematics


SPARCT began as an NSF grant-funded initiative through the Whitaker Center for STEM Education.

The Major Goals of SPARCT are

(1) Enhanced scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by SPARCT faculty.

(2) Improvement of evidence-based practices targeting the introductory STEM classroom.

(3) Development of long-term FLCs in STEM instruction.

(4) Development of professional peer-observation strategies for the STEM classroom.

(5) Enhanced student learning in introductory STEM courses as a result of SPARCT faculty development.


Learn more about the SPARCT Program and how it might be adapted to your institution through our reports.


Results Y1 (2014)

NSF-Report Year 1

NSF-Report Year 2

NSF-Report Year 3

List of Presentations and Publications generated through the project

Evaluator's Reports

Year 1

Year 2


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DUE-WIDER Grant No. 1347640.