The Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Undergraduate program provides support for planning grants to study and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the numbers of students and the quality of their preparation by strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research. This project at South Carolina State University provides a strategic approach to redesigning foundational STEM courses to increase student success. The project is guided and informed by an on-going evaluation, as well as external and internal advisory committees. <br/><br/>The project seeks to establish the STEM Recruitment, Retention, and Success Center to create an environment to guarantee STEM student success. The center will focus on STEM recruitment, retention and student service activities. Much of the planning activities involve creating the vision and the activities for this center to enhance STEM student retention by employing innovative teaching strategies in STEM gate-keeping courses, providing students with internships and research experiences, and preparing them for graduate school and the workforce. The project will pilot implementing active learning strategies in introductory Physics and Computer Science courses. Outreach activities with the Calhoun County School District and Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College will be conducted.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.