News Release

Viano receives NSF CAREER Award

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Samantha Viano, Assistant Professor, Education, received funding from the National Science Foundation for the project: "CAREER: Second Chance STEM: Uncovering school policies structuring access to and engagement in high school STEM credit recovery."  

Viano will conduct three individual studies as part of this research. The first study will be located in 14 schools in a large and demographically changing suburban school district. This work will be followed by a survey of optimal policy/practice combinations at the level of this particular district. Finally, results from the first two studies will support a national-level survey using a representative sample from the RAND American School Leaders Panel. Results from the three studies will be interwoven to deliver a theoretical and empirical framework to support policymakers engaged in STEM credit recovery programs. Together the studies will integrate critical components of program success, student engagement, and pedagogy.  

The project will fulfill a national need for understanding how schools use online credit recovery for STEM courses, a necessary prerequisite for building an evidence base on how students can efficiently and effectively recover STEM course credits lost due to course failure. Findings will increase the probability of positive outcomes of minoritized students often assigned to online credit recovery by responding to students’ needs and the advice and insights of practitioners. 

Viano received $1,044,599 from NSF for this project. This funding began in Sept. 2023 and will end in Sept. 2028. 


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at

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