Midwest Campus Compact STEM Consortium

CNCSThe Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Campus Compacts collaborated to form the Midwest Campus Compact STEM Consortium (MCCSC). A grant of $493,900 was awarded to this consortium in September 2010 by the Corporation for National and Community Service. WiCC and Minnesota Campus Compact were the lead institutions on this grant.

The purpose of the Learn and Serve America Higher Education program was to expand participation in community service by supporting innovative service-learning programs carried out through institutions of higher education acting as civic institutions to meet the human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs of neighboring communities. Grants supported campus‐based service-learning programs that directly and demonstrably benefit both the community served and the participants who the serve.

In awarding this grant, the Corporation aims to achieve four main objectives:

  • To enhance student’s academic learning, their sense of social responsibility and their civic skills through service-learning
  • To increase the number, quality, and sustainability of opportunities for students to serve by strengthening infrastructure and building capacity within and across the nations institutions of higher education
  • To strengthen the leadership and instructional capacity of teachers at the elementary, secondary, and post secondary levels with respect to service-learning
  • To engage participants in meeting the unmet educational, public safety, human, and environmental needs of the community

The primary objectives of this project were to increase student engagement, participation, and persistence in the STEM disciplines while helping to address local community concerns about food, its production and its distribution, and about nutrition and related health issues. The IA, IL KS, MN, and WI Campus Compacts partnered with the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities) and provided training and technical assistance to sub grantees as they implemented multi-institutions’ service learning projects focused on local and regional food issues. During the course of this grant, 30 sub grants were awarded to build a collaborative partnership involving two or more post-secondary institutions.

The proposed project was broadly focused at the Midwest regional level to address the following major goals:

  • Students will be retained and will succeed in STEM courses and programs.
  • Students participating in the projects service-learning courses will remain involved with their community partners after course completion.
  • Communities engaged in service‐learning partnerships with projects students and faculty will show an improvement in indicators of food security and or social determinants of healthy nutrition.