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ERIC Number: ED546148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 131
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation of the Initial Impacts of the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program: Final Report
Carney, Jennifer; Chawla, Deepika; Wiley, Autumn; Young, Denise
Abt Associates
This report summarizes findings from an evaluation of the impacts of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (IGERT) program. Through support of interdisciplinary graduate education programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, the IGERT program aims to educate U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become, in their own careers, leaders and creative agents for change. IGERT also aims to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. The IGERT program strives to facilitate diversity in student participation and preparation, thus contributing to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged, science and engineering workforce. A program evaluation conducted by Abt Associates Inc. examined IGERT program impacts on recruitment, students, faculty, and institutions, using surveys and interviews with IGERT participants and a comparison group of non-IGERT individuals. IGERT participants were drawn from a sample of participating departments in projects funded in 1998, 1999, or 2000. The comparison sample consisted of departments identified by IGERT department chairs as peer departments with whom they competed for graduate students. This enabled the construction of a comparison group that accounted for academic quality and provided a match for every IGERT department included in the study. Surveys were sent to IGERT PIs, department chairs, faculty and doctoral students, and to non-IGERT department chairs, faculty, and doctoral students. Resulting sample sizes were large enough to produce a level of precision such that proportions estimated from the full sample would have confidence intervals of plus or minus five percentage points or less. Survey response rates ranged between 72 and 94 percent. To provide data on institutional contexts, university administrators from IGERT and non-IGERT institutions were interviewed. Overall, the study found that the IGERT program has had a measurable impact in altering the graduate educational experiences of participating students, supporting faculty engagement in interdisciplinary teaching and research, and advancing interdisciplinary graduate education within host institutions. Detailed findings related to the program goals of educating students, catalyzing cultural change, and promoting diversity are outlined. This evaluation finds that doctoral students participating in IGERT projects receive different educational experiences than non-IGERT students enrolled in single disciplinary degree programs, and that the IGERT program has been successful in achieving its goal of improving graduate educational programs in science and engineering. Appended are: (1) Supplementary Tables; and (2) Bibliometric Analysis. ["IGERT Initial Impacts Study: The Bibliometric Analysis" provided in Appendix B was prepared by Jennifer Carney, Deepika Chawla, Dominic Olivastro, Kimberly Hamilton, and Peter Kroll.]
Abt Associates. 4550 Montgomery Avenue Suite 800 North, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-347-5000; Fax: 301-634-1801; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: Abt Associates, Inc.
Grant or Contract Numbers: REC9912174, B15285X