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New Mexico State University


The Partnership for Retention and Improvement of Meaningful Opportunities in STEM (PRIMOS) will form a STEM faculty cohort. This cohort will participate in professional development centered on course design, research-based instructional techniques, active-learning strategies, and feedback to students about their learning. Participants will benefit from a community of peers and peer review of new teaching strategies.

What are the goals of the PRIMOS faculty cohort?

Promote effective STEM education, backed by evidence

  • Examine, share, explore and support best practices to enhance teaching effectiveness and improve student learning.
  • Peer-review new teaching strategies and assess their success.
  • Make STEM teaching recognized, discussed and valued.

Promote and support curricular and pedagogical efforts to improve students’ academic experiences.

  • Give feedback to advisors on student performance or recommended course sequences to smooth the process of transition from DACC to NMSU and improve advising.

Establish what students should learn

  • Formulate what students should be able to do after their first-year courses in STEM.
  • Identify critical thinking and learning strategies embedded in your courses.
  • Identify content that forms bridges between introductory STEM courses.

Determine whether they are really learning it

  • Engage in a discussion on how we can assess what students know to evaluate course design and give feedback on instructional strategies.

What benefits does the PRIMOS cohort offer faculty?

Community of peers

Avoid becoming isolated in your teaching by regularly meeting other faculty teaching STEM courses. Learn about and share different approaches to teaching, teaching resources, and research in teaching. Find support for trying new teaching strategies and get peer review. Exchange questions and answers about STEM education.

Professional development

This cohort will discuss many aspects of teaching: the design of a course, options for instruction that are research-based and impact student learning, fostering critical thinking, approaching teaching in a scientific way, documenting your teaching, and giving meaningful feedback to your students about their learning.

Supplemental compensation

Each member of the faculty cohort who participates in the PRIMOS project for one academic year will receive $2,000 in supplemental compensation.

Technology incentive

Each member of the faculty cohort will receive a new computer or alternative technology item (between $1,000-$1,500) to encourage technology integration in teaching. This item is for the personal use of the faculty member while affiliated with DACC or NMSU.

Travel support to teaching conferences

Members of the PRIMOS faculty cohort can apply for travel support to attend conferences on teaching and learning. Up to 10 faculty members may be supported each year.

PRIMOS first-year STEM teaching award

Yearly faculty from each institution (DACC and NMSU) can apply for a teaching award for performance beyond their normal teaching duties.

What are other components of the PRIMOS project?

  • Mathematics refresher courses prior to the mathematics placement exam, to reduce the number of students testing into developmental mathematics.
  • Content-specific tutoring online and face-to-face through the student success centers in Zuhl Library at NMSU.
  • Content-specific tutoring at the East Mesa and Gadsen branches of DACC.
  • Supplemental Instruction for STEM Gateway Courses.
  • Online teaching modules for essential STEM topics that can be used for supplemental instruction, tutoring or self-study.
  • Freshman Interest Groups pairing UNIV 150 with first-year STEM courses.
  • Coaching from upper division STEM students for small groups of freshman for academic and social support.
  • Improved advising of students at DACC that wish to transfer to NMSU.
  • Financial Literacy Tools including seminars and webinars.
  • Referal of students that show academic difficulties to QuickConnect for support.
  • STEM Majors and Career Exploration Seminars and Webinars.
  • STEM Awards of Excellence to reward outstanding STEM students.

Next: Summer Workshops

  • NMSU Division of Student Success: PRIMOS - Faculty
  • Michaela Burkardt, Ph.D.
  •, (575) 646-7930
  • Room 50 Milton Hall, MSC 3TA, P.O. Box 30001
  • Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001