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The 2011 report, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, provided the impetus to mobilize the undergraduate life sciences education community to affect change in order to enhance the educational experiences of life sciences majors. The work of the appointed Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) Vision and Change (V&C) Leadership Fellows has focused on the development of programs and resources to support departmental change. In this report, we present a qualitative assessment of several documents generated from the PULSE V&C Leadership Fellow Recognition Team. The Recognition Team developed two initiatives to provide departments with feedback on their change process. The first initiative, the validated PULSE V&C Rubrics, enables departments to collaboratively self-assess their progress in enacting change. The second initiative, the PULSE Recognition Program, involves completion of the aforementioned Rubrics and a site-visit by two Recognition Team members to provide external insights and suggestions to foster a department’s change process. Eight departments participated in the Recognition Program in 2014. An evaluation of the documents yielded from the Recognition Program review of seven of the eight departments and a comparison of Rubric scores from before and three years following the site-visits uncovered several common elements required for successful department level change. These elements include an institutional culture that values and supports excellence in teaching and learning with resources and infrastructure, a departmental emphasis on program and course level assessment, and, most importantly, a departmental champion who actively supports endeavors that enhance teaching excellence.


This article was originally published in PLOS One, available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217088.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.



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