After many months of filming on campus, “60 Minutes” featured UMBC on its program this past Sunday. What’s the bad news? It’s all too familiar: the United States continues to graduate too few students, particularly minorities, in science, technology, engineering, and math. The good news: “60 Minutes” focuses on UMBC as a place that gets it right.
As you watch, you will see a well-executed production, not the months of taping, research, and editing. You certainly won’t see the messy outtakes. Transformation in higher education happens in much the same way. It’s a process, not a product. What started in 1988 with an idea for a select program for African-American males in science, math, and engineering – the Meyerhoff Scholars Program – has blossomed into a broad culture of student achievement at UMBC.
Lessons from the Meyerhoff program, for example, inspired scholars programs for undergraduates in the arts, humanities, public affairs, and teacher education. More recently, the Meyerhoff experience with group study informed course redesigns for first-year courses in science, engineering, and psychology. And, in turn, lessons from that initiative now have UMBC working to infuse active learning throughout its curriculum.
But these few examples aren’t the story. What we have worked toward over the past 25 years at UMBC is a culture that goes beyond “project mode” when it comes to improving undergraduate education. More than a particular program, department, or initiative – we are an entire community that works relentlessly to improve the educational experience we provide.
Our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and partners have worked tirelessly, and often behind the scenes, to breathe life into that work. UMBC’s successes are your successes. Thank you for your continued support, and enjoy the spotlight!