Institute for Educational Initiatives in partnership to enhance science and math teaching in Indiana


Students in classroom

A new University of Notre Dame partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) will help to bring STEM college-level courses to more students in secondary schools across Indiana.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Education, announced last week, cleared the way for NMSI to make a $7 million grant to implement additional College Board’s Advanced Placement math, science, and English courses in Indiana through a program administered by Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI).

NMSI, an initiative launched several years ago by top leaders in business, education and science to reverse the troubling decline in American math and science education, is expanding to Indiana its highly successful program to effect large-scale change in access to and success in AP courses offered by Indiana’s high schools.

The Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program in Indiana (AP-TIP IN), set to begin implementation in 33 secondary schools starting in 2012, aims to ensure that more students are better prepared for college and for success in the highly technical and highly competitive jobs of the future.

Joyce Johnstone

With the support of BioCrossroads, an enterprise catalyzing the continued growth of Indiana’s life sciences industry, the IEI has already overseen the training of about 225 AP teachers. This key step toward establishing new courses through the AP-TIP IN program has also received ongoing assistance from the Lumina Foundation and the Lilly Endowment.

“This partnership is a team effort bringing together the worlds of education, business, and government,” says Joyce Johnstone, the Ryan Senior Director for Program Development at the IEI. “The grant from NMSI allows us to move forward on a path that many different stakeholders see as crucial for Indiana’s youth and for our schools.” Johnstone is primary investigator for the project.

Karen Morris, the AP TIP-IN program director, adds: “The expansion of AP teaching capacity in Indiana could not have been accomplished without the enthusiastic assistance of Dr. Tony Bennett [Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction] and the state’s Department of Education. Our colleagues there have generously contributed to the effort,” she says, noting that schools all around Indiana have shared in the commitment.

Karen Morris

Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., director of the IEI, says the NMSI partnership also reflects Notre Dame’s commitment to advance access for the nation’s primary and secondary students to quality education.

“This grant illustrates the Institute for Educational Initiatives’ unwavering commitment to advance educational opportunity for all children, whether in public, charter, or faith-based schools," Father Scully says. “We seek to galvanize the efforts of all actors in our state and in our country to improve the academic quality of the curricular offerings available to students and teachers, in this instance especially in Math and Science."

Schools participating in the NMSI-supported AP program during the last three years have recorded triple-digit increases in the number of qualifying scores, based on newly released College Board data:

  • A 124-percent increase in passing exams in AP math, science and English among all students, compared to a 23-percent increase nationally over the same period of time.
  • A 216-percent increase in passing exams in AP math, science, and English among African-American and Hispanic students, compared to 50 percent nationally.
  • A 144-percent increase in passing exams in AP math and science among female students, compared to 20% nationally. The newly announced federal funding for NMSI makes possible NMSI’s expansion into Indiana and Colorado. These join the list of current NMSI AP partner states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia.

Contact: Bill Schmitt, IEI communications/media specialist, 574-631-3893,