CESME's mission is to help establish the necessary conditions for quality learning in the sciences and in mathematics in the nation's colleges and universities.
CESME, through its programs, fosters cooperation and collaboration among the nation's college and university faculty for the purpose of maintaining and enhancing teaching excellence and promoting inclusiveness and equity in science and mathematics education.
The Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education, CESME, was inaugurated in February of 2004 as a special program of GVSU's Honors College. Several workshops and intensive short-courses were held that year, including two one-week workshops on Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and offered to faculty from colleges and universities across the nation. In May of 2005, the University Academic Senate recommended that CESME be established as a University program, and CESME began operating a regional Field Center for the NSF Chautauqua Short-Course Series for College Teachers. The program is an annual series of forums in which scholars at the frontiers of the sciences and education fields meet intensively with college science and mathematics teachers. In 2008, CESME inaugurated a workshop series, offered by GVSU faculty, in pedagogical advancements for post-secondary teachers in the Great Lakes region, . The program was presented in cooperation The Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education with the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center and the Steelcase Corporation.