Students recruited into the program began a course that was specific to the prototype curriculum in the second semester of their first year (one curriculum customized course instead of one of the regular electives). Following that semester, students took part in a summer-long internship in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics research facility. The program team assisted the students with placement, supervised their internships, and monitored their development both during and after the experience. In the second year, students took one customized course each semester with the goal of rounding out their knowledge and skills prior to entry into the job market. All in all, during the three semesters, three electives from the original program were replaced by three new curriculum specific courses. The eScience professional curriculum team also assisted with job placement for the graduating students. This project was carried out in three phases:
Design – Existing research on cyberinfrastructure skills were combined with needs analysis conducted at STEM project partners. The result of this research synthesis was used to design an educational program based on existing courses, modified courses, new courses, and related educational experiences (such as internships, stand alone learning modules, and the like).
Prototype – The newly devised curriculum was tested with a cohort of master’s of science students who were part of a two-year graduate level certification program at Syracuse University.
Revision and Evaluation – Formative evaluation data from the cohort were used to revise the curriculum, and conduct a summative evaluation. The result of the curriculum development, certification process, and evaluations were used to create a transferable system of expertise for advancing the adoption of cyberinfrastructure.