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STEM Student Interest Groups (SSIGs)

STEM Student Interest Groups (SSIGs) are 1-cr offerings (UNIV 190 – Student Interest Group Seminar) that shadow gateway courses and inclusively engage students in fields dominated by non-Hispanic students and faculty.  Small-group cohorts, led by STEM graduate students or post-docs, will relate gateway-course learning to students’ chosen fields and begin early contact with people and resources in the department of their aspirational major.
For example, many students enrolled in General Chemistry desire to pursue majors in engineering, biology, earth and planetary sciences and other fields.  Separate SSIGs would be offered to attract and support cohorts of these majors who share co-enrollment in General Chemistry.  The engineering students would meet together once a week with a graduate-student (or post-doc) instructor from the School of Engineering at a location in the SOE complex, the biology students would meet with a biology instructor at a location in the biology department, and so forth.

Click here for a sample syllabus for an engineering SSIG that accompanies general chemistry.  Instructors have considerable flexibility in developing their own syllabi within guidelines provided during a mandatory SSIG Design Workshop offered by the Office of Support for Effective Teaching prior to each semester.

What courses will have associated SSIGs?  The PIUSS office is developing a prioritized list of SSIG companion courses.  SSIGs will be developed for those gateway courses that typically enroll large numbers of STEM students who are pursuing degrees in a department separate from the gateway course.  These gateway courses are primarily in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

How are SSIG instructors selected?  Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in all Engineering and Arts & Sciences science and mathematics departments are eligible to apply.  Actual hires each semester will depend on the qualifications of applicants relative to the participating companion gateway courses and decisions about disciplinary focuses of the SSIG sections offered each semester.  SSIGs will accompany fall and spring semester courses. Information about SSIG-instructor positions will appear here about midway through the previous semester and will also be distributed to department chairs.