Science Education at UGA
Science education is flourishing at the University of Georgia. With record numbers of students enrolled in the College of Engineering, a state-of-the-art Science Learning Center under construction, and more than 30% of incoming first-year students declaring majors in science fields, the University’s leadership in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is evident.
UGA’s College of Engineering, one of the fastest-growing public engineering colleges in the nation, was founded in 2012. Its structure, which transcends traditional academic departments, allows faculty and students to collaborate in innovation and discovery clusters. This model promotes interdisciplinary teaching and research as well as experiential learning. The College is home to 1,591 undergraduates, 41 master’s students, and 48 doctoral students.
The new Science Learning Center, a 122,500-square-foot facility scheduled to open in fall 2017, will transform the way that basic science is taught at UGA. The Center will house 33 instructional labs designed specifically for interactive learning, two 280-seat lecture halls, and two 72-seat SCALE-UP classrooms structured to enhance student learning.
These academic initiatives have come as students’ interest in the sciences has increased—evident in the first-year class. This fall, as UGA welcomed the most academically talented class in the institution’s history, nearly 1,650 incoming students declared majors in STEM fields. Several of the class of 2019’s top majors include biology, biological sciences, and biochemistry and molecular biology.
Recently, I enjoyed the opportunity to see students’ enthusiasm for the sciences up close. At the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation conference, I was pleased to hear students discuss their education and career goals as well as the importance of research and internship opportunities.
Demonstrating an innovative approach to providing academic programs and building facilities, the University of Georgia has emerged as a leader in postsecondary science education.