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Landmark College has developed a highly successful portfolio of supports for their students. This project will determine and identify the supports that are the most efficacious. These supports will then be digitized and piloted with students with disabilities in STEM majors at UCF. The overarching goal is to enhance persistence and performances for all students in STEM majors. The two year grant is part of NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) solicitation. 

Interdisciplinary Coaching as a Nexus for Transforming How Institutions Support Undergraduates in STEM (iCAN)

Landmark College and the University of Central Florida (UCF) were recently awarded a $249,784 National Science Foundation (NSF-IUSE:EHR) grant entitled “Interdisciplinary Coaching as a Nexus for Transforming How Institutions Support Undergraduates in STEM (iCAN).”


Title:“Interdisciplinary Coaching As a Nexus for Transforming how Institutions Support Undergraduates in STEM (iCAN)” National Science Foundation logo
Funder: National Science Foundation
Award Number: 1505202
Award Amount: $249,784
Funding Period: 2015 – 2017
PI: Dr. Matthew Marino
Co-PIs: Dr. Brian Moore, Dr. Eleazar Vasquez, Dr. Manju Banerjee

Project Description 

A significant need exists to increase the number of STEM majors from underrepresented populations who are entering the STEM workforce. Nationally, fewer than 40% of undergraduates who intend to major in a STEM field complete a STEM degree. Traditional institutional reform efforts focus on system-level changes in instructor behaviors and supports. Unfortunately, current institutional reform efforts have not had an immediate wide-scale impact on the attrition rate of STEM majors. This project will examine how practicing in-service teachers can use mobile technologies to coach undergraduates in STEM majors who have executive functioning difficulties (e.g., higher order cognitive abilities such as planning, problem resolution, and mental flexibility) so that they can successfully complete introductory STEM coursework.

The “Interdisciplinary Coaching As a Nexus for Transforming how Institutions Support Undergraduates in STEM (iCAN)” is an exploratory project that will occur over two years. iCAN is a hybrid model of supports that relies on team coaching and mobile technologies (e.g., tablets & smartphones) to help undergraduates achieve executive function abilities that are critical to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) success. The project team will systematically investigate how a successful model for enhancing undergraduate STEM learning and persistence at Landmark, a small rural college in Vermont, can be migrated to the University of Central Florida, which is the second largest university in the United States. The project benefits both the graduate student teachers and undergraduate STEM majors. It also provides practicing teachers with insights regarding how to better prepare students to be successful in STEM majors at the undergraduate level. If this program proves as effective as expected, it will enhance STEM learning, persistence, and entry into the STEM workforce for all undergraduate students, particularly those with executive function deficits.


Finding from the project will be available for dissemination as soon as they are available.

Project Team

Dr. Matthew Marino

Headshot of Dr. Matthew Marino

Dr. Manju Banerjee

Headshot of Dr. Manju Banerjee

Dr. Brian Moore

Headshot of Dr. Brian Moore

Dr. Eleazar Vasquez

Headshot of Dr. Eleazar Vasquez


National Science Foundation logoThis material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1505202

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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