The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, a partnership between Florida International University, The University of Central Florida, and The University of South Florida is pleased to announce they have been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Leona M. and Harry S. Helmsley Charitable Trust to build faculty learning communities in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to assist students who wish to pursue a STEM major to navigate and excel in their chosen field of study. This grant gives The Florida Consortium Schools a unique opportunity to work together to address improvements and enhancements rather than go at it alone. This is the first grant of its kind awarded in Florida by the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded over $40 million so that university networks all over the United States can focus their attention on the growing issue of STEM graduate deficits. To address this shortfall The Florida Consortium was awarded a grant to get faculty together into learning communities focused on academic achievement and curriculum design. By doing so The Florida Consortium and its member schools hope to:

  • Increase student access, especially in traditionally underserved populations.
  • Develop a predictive model for student success so each university can offer just in time interventions designed to keep students on target for graduation.
  • Work with employers to develop a model for faculty and staff to teach skills desired by employers.

“We are excited to be a partner with the Leona M. And Harry S. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Their commitment to student success, especially in the STEM fields will allow faculty to explore how we can best serve students and provide faculty with the resources they need to build a world class classroom.” Said Michael Preston, Executive Director of The Florida Consortium.  From employing innovative technologies to discussing co-curricular involvement and its effect on STEM students, faculty members will work to employ a new learning eco-system where every student can meet their potential.

“The most unique feature of the grant is the opportunity for our faculty to meet on each other’s campus and work on these ideas together.” Said Dr. Kevin Yee, the Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence at The University of South Florida. Yee added, “without The Florida Consortium then these faculty discussions can be difficult to manage but now we can build a new culture of sharing and best practice.”

For more information on The Florida Consortium please visit,

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