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Institutionalizing the IGERT Innovations at Rutgers


This project is combining the theoretical perspectives of “communities of practice” and “situated learning” with the innovative research, curriculum, and community best practices developed in four Integrative Graduate Research and Education Traineeship (IGERT) projects. This is done horizontally across the institution’s STEM graduate programs and centers, and vertically within the undergraduate research experience programs. This extensive program of activities is improving the quality of undergraduate and graduate students completing STEM degrees. Additionally, the project is using proven methods to increase the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM fields, including first generation, economically disadvantaged, and disabled students.

With attention to addressing critical educational junctures, the senior leadership team is creating the Graduate Innovation and Integration Center (GIIC) to enhance the integration of the institution’s and research and educational efforts. GIIC center is working with five existing interdisciplinary campus centers to build collaborations and synergistic outcomes. A comprehensive plan is evaluating each aspect of the project including critical junctures as well as the impact of the project on promoting institutional collaboration and synergy. Longitudinal studies are being planned that follow students for three years post graduation. The broader impact of this project is the synergy between a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs; the broadened participation of undergraduate students in research experiences, particularly students from populations underrepresented in STEM disciplines; the improved retention of a diverse body of graduate students; and a model for student success that can be used at other institutions.


Start: September 01, 2009
End: August 31, 2014

Project Members:


Rutgers University

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Project AGER

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