The Vision of SYMBIOSIS is for students
to have an authentic science experience and to develop ‘portable skills’ [Authentic Learning for the 21st Century (2007)]
that can impact the well-being, security and prosperity of our nation.


  • Is an inquiry-based, active-learning, student-centered curriculum in which Biology and Mathematics & Statistics are coupled beginning at the earliest stages of a student’s college career
  • Meets many of the objectives set forth in:
        * The National Research Council's report
           'A New Biology for the 21st Century' (2009)
        * The National Research Council's report
          'BIO2010' (2003)
         * The National Academy of Sciences, The National     
          Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicines
          report 'Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited'
  • Matches many of the learning competencies and objectives set forth in:
        * The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the
          American Association of Medical Colleges
          'Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians' (2009)
          Careful consideration of the objectives of the
          SYMBIOSIS modules enabled us to map the modules
           to these competencies
  • Prepares students for careers in Quantitative Biology, Biomedical Fields, Research, STEM Education and Academia

Our Future Plans are to revise, implement and assess the
SYMBIOSIS curriculum as our introductory
three-semester biology course for
science majors, pre-professionals and future science educators
at ETSU in Fall 2012 with the intent of having
this revolutionary new curriculum be at the
forefront of education reform.

The initial development of the SYMBIOSIS initiative was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grant #52005872 for $1.7M

Last updated:  October 29, 2010

News and Events

A SYMBIOSIS poster was presented at the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Association of Science Teacher Education Conference on September 24-25 hosted by East Tennessee State University.

Fall 2010 Publication
Depelteau, A., Joplin, K., Govett, A., Miller, H., Seier, E. (2010). SYMBIOSIS: Development, Implementation and Assessment of a Model Curriculum across Biology and Mathematics at the Introductory Level. Cell Biology Education-Life Sciences Education 9:342-347.