What Works: Programs

PKAL asserts that the most important attribute of strong undergraduate programs is a thriving "natural science" community, an environment where:

  • learning is experiential and steeped in investigation from the very first courses for all students through capstone courses for students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • learning is personally meaningful for students and faculty, makes connections to other fields of inquiry, is embedded in the context of its own history and rationale, and suggests practical applications related to the experience of students.
  • learning takes place in a community where faculty are committed equally to undergraduate teaching and to their own intellectual vitality, where faculty see students as partners in learning, where students collaborate with one another and gain confidence that they can succeed, and where institutions support such communities of learners.