INCREASING STUDENT RETENTION AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS: STEM LEARNING COMMUNITIES Sponsored by Title V Presented by: Oralia De los Reyes, Ph.D. Director of Title V Rosalinda Garza Student Support Service Coordinator David Boon Research Assistant KNOWLEDGE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES.
PRESENTATION OVERVIEW • Institution Demographic Profile • Project Overview • Project Goals • Expected Impact • 360° Program Assessment (Direct and Indirect Measures) • STEM Learning Communities • Student Performance Indicators • Survey Results • Intervention for Math Readiness • Conclusions
INSTITUTIONAL PROFILE • UTB/TSC is located in South Texas--right on the border of the U.S. and Mexico • STUDENT BODY PROFILE: • Total Enrollment 13,836 (without dual enrollment) • 83.4% (11,545) Undergraduate • 6.8% (937) Graduates • 46.9% (6,495) Full Time • 57.7% (7,990) Females • Average Age is 25 years old • 92.7% are Hispanic • 90% are awarded Financial Aid • 63% of freshmenplace in at least one developmental area
PROJECT GOALS Restructure curricula and academic support to achieve improvedstudent learning outcomes Implement a culture of evidence that identifies and aligns best practices for student learning outcomes Study the effects of redesigned curriculum and assessment measures in STEM learning communities TARGET POPULATIONS Students in STEM fields Increase the number of students interested in STEM fields Increase the success rate of students pursuing STEM fields (Specifically in the math sequence) Faculty Increase the number of faculty who integrate instructional innovations for improved student learning outcomes Increase the use of assessment of student learning outcomes to guide curricula improvements
EXPECTED IMPACT Establish STEM learning communities with intrusive academic support Developed Peer Mentoring and Tutoring Programs Integrated advising, service learning and career counseling Implement instructional innovations that have demonstrated success in increasing student learning and retention Integrated assignments in writing, critical thinking, scientific reasoning and problem solving Integrated learning and study strategies Integrated digital communication tools Implement assessment protocols that are used regularly to improve student learning outcomes Conducted all assessment protocols electronically on BlackboardOutcomes System (course, program and institution) Establish student e-portfolios as assessment mechanism (In progress)
O 360° ASSESSMENT ON THE FOUR PROJECT COMPONENTS ACADEMIC SUPPORT (TUTORING & MENTORING) FACULTY DEVELOPMENT • Measuring Student Success • Passing Rates • Hrs Attempted Vs Completed • Letter Grade Distribution • Persistence/Retention Rate • Students’ Satisfaction • Test Scores ASSESSMENT REENGINEERING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT INTEGRATION OF TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLASSROOM
360° PROGRAM ASSESSMENT FACULTY FEEDBACK Annual Faculty Survey and Focus Groups STUDENT FEEDBACK Student Surveys (ROVI & LC) and Focus Groups National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) STUDENT PERFORMANCE DATA Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) Attitudes Toward Science Assessment Instrument (ATSI) Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) Course Embedded Assessment - Actual Student Work (papers and assignments designed to assess critical thinking and communication skills) PROGRAM ASSESSMENT Blackboard Outcomes Systems- Program & Course Level Assessment
LEARNING COMMUNITIES FORMAT Types of Learning Communities: Integrated Cohorted Stand Alone Courses All STEM learning communities have Integrated Academic Support: Set tutoring times are assigned and announced in the course schedule All learning communities have a tutor and a peeradvisor
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN STEM LEARNING COMMUNITIES Source: Learning Communities Student Tracking Database, compiled by Title V, Spring 2012.
LEARNING COMMUNITY STUDENTSBY COLLEGE, N=839 CSMT CLA Source: Datatel Database, Management and Reporting Office, compiled by Title V, Fall 2011.
PERFORMANCE MEASURES: LC STUDENTS’ RETENTION BY COHORT FALL 2009 TO FALL 2011 UTB FT Freshmen Fall ‘10to Fall ‘11 Retention61% Pilots
CONTROL AND COMPARISON GROUPS The CONTROL GROUP was drawn from a database provided by the office of Institutional Effectiveness and was defined by random selection of non LC students... with same classification taking same courses in the same semester The COMPARISON GROUP was drawn from 2009 FoE Freshmen Cohort, DFWI Grade Distribution Report, published by the office of Data Management and Reporting, Spring 2010
FALL 2010-SPRING 2011 LC STUDENTS’ DEMOGRAPHICS NOTE: Control Group was defined by Student Classification and Non LC students taking same courses during the same semester Source: Learning Communities Student Tracking Database, compiled by Title V, Fall 2011.
GRADE DISTRIBUTION: FALL 2010, n=526 8 pts. Comparison Group Source:Office of Data Management and Reporting Database, Fall 2011
GRADE DISTRIBUTION: FALL 2010, PRE-CALC, n=21 14 pts. 33 pts. Comparison Group Source:Office of Data Management and Reporting Database, Fall 2011
GRADE DISTRIBUTION: ENGL 1301-FALL 2010, n=152 10 pts. 20 pts. 6 pts. Comparison Group Source:Office of Data Management and Reporting Database, Fall 2011
GRADE DISTRIBUTION: FALL 2010 AND SPRING 2011 Comparison Group Source: DFWI Grade Distribution of FY2009 Freshmen Cohort (Fall 2008, Spring and Summer 2009) for FoE, Office of Data Management and Reporting, Spring 2010
HIGH PERFORMANCE LC’SFALL 2010-SPRING 2011: COLLEGE ALGEBRA Comparison Group Source: DFWI Grade Distribution of FY2009 Freshmen Cohort (Fall 2008, Spring and Summer 2009) for FoE, Office of Data Management and Reporting, Spring 2010
HIGH PERFORMANCE LC’SFALL 2010-SPRING 2011: CALCULUS I Comparison Group Source: DFWI Grade Distribution of FY2009 Freshmen Cohort (Fall 2008, Spring and Summer 2009) for FoE, Office of Data Management and Reporting, Spring 2010
HIGH PERFORMANCE LC’SFALL 2010-SPRING 2011: CHEMISTRY I 11 pts. Comparison Group Source: DFWI Grade Distribution of FY2009 Freshmen Cohort (Fall 2008, Spring and Summer 2009) for FoE, Office of Data Management and Reporting, Spring 2010
FALL 2011 LC STUDENTS’ DEMOGRAPHICS NOTE: Control Group was defined by Students taking same courses during the same semester Source: Learning Communities Student Tracking Database, compiled by Title V, Fall 2011.
HIGH PERFORMANCE LC’SFALL 2011: COLLEGE ALGEBRA (n=85) 43pts. 28 pts. Comparison Group Source: Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning-Informer Report, Spring 2012, compiled by Title V Office
HIGH PERFORMANCE LC’SFALL 2011: PRE-CLCULUS (n=48) 21 pts. 17pts. Comparison Group Source: Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning-Informer Report, Spring 2012, compiled by Title V Office
Student Feedback: Focus Group Summary • POSITIVES • Peer mentoring and tutoring programs • Block schedules • Quality of instruction • Flexibility: improvement of tutoring based on mid- semester student feedback AREAS TO IMPROVE • Course integration • Tutor Training to develop strong, engaging, friendly, knowledgeable leaders • More student activities
Fall 2011 Rovai Results: Sense of Community1=Strongly Disagree – 5=Strongly Agree N=154
Fall 2011 Rovai Results: Sense of CommunityCCS Results Continued: Fall 2011 N=154
LC Survey Top Rated Items N=312 to 315
The NSSE assesses the extent to which undergraduate students are involved in educational practices empirically linked to high levels of learning and development. Random sample of first-year students and seniors. Oversampled first-year students and administered to students in the LCs in the spring. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
NSSE Items Significantly Different (p. < .05) N=54 to 165
NSSE Items Significantly Different (p. < .10) N=49 to 164
LC Student Focus Groups • A total of 9 students were recruited to voluntarily participate in an hour long semi-structured interview regarding learning communities. • The interview was tape-recorded and subsequently content analyzed. • The qualitative results were analyzed for content and coded into individual thematic theme categories.
High Praise to the Tutoring Support • “They (tutors) explained everything. They had patience.” • “They helped to introduce good study habits.” • “The tutors they really helped in helping us become individual(s) off of them. Like they kind of helped us to get our sea legs you could say.” • “Chem. and Pre-Cal. They’re pretty hard classes, and even Bio, knowing that you have the option for tutors and knowing that there’s a set time for you to study…. I think that helps a lot.” • “At the time when you would go (tutoring) – they would always go over a chapter they would give you like an overview on every chapter. That was really helpful too. And they would always ask us like if you guys want during lecture -- write questions that you want to know-- bring it to the tutoring session -- and we’ll answer them there.” • “Linked actually makes it more easier since the tutoring is there. If you take them separately having like that time setup for studying makes it more difficult.”
Improving Critical Thinking • “I also liked the fact that I had to look at it through two different philosophies. I mean the philosophy of English and Biology. I felt that it helped with a deeper understanding. It just reinforced it.” • “Seeing them spending more time with both of them (Chemistry and Math). You’re understanding more. You’re not just understanding Chemistry better--you are understanding Chemistry and Math.” • “I don’t know if this one counts but the big thing that framed the beginning part of our semester was ‘What is science? What do we consider science? And what is considered science?’ And we basically went through the scientific process as well which eventually led to us forming our own opinion of what science (is).”
Developing a Sense of Community • “For me I think for both classes we had the same classmates… and I know that’s a lot of fun because you form like a little community amongst each other. So once you get that confidence of like knowing everybody for both classes you feel more free to like ask more questions or ask each other questions that we don’t understand.” • “This is my first semester so like I didn’t know anybody and just being in the learning community and meeting new people and having them there with me - helping me… Instead of those classes that I didn’t have with other students that I know. I think it just helped me more.” • “Having the same students and actually going to the other classes with those students was extremely helpful. And I’m a pretty open person but in other classes you could see people shut down because they’re afraid…because they don’t know their peers. And so they’re afraid to ask questions.”
Using Assignments To Improve General Education Outcomes Note: N/A removed from analyses N=227
Annual Faculty Survey Results: Integration of Technology Note: N/A removed from analyses N=227
Annual Faculty Survey Results: Supporting a Culture of Evidence N=277, Note: N/A removed from analyses
Lessons Learned To Help Faculty Design And Implement Assessment Plans To Improve Student Learning The overriding issue for faculty is to understand what assessment is and why the institution must undertake it. If assessment is simply seen as externally driven by accreditation demands, its use for program review will be severely limited. “It is a huge battle. It is a lot to do. How to have adequate assessment for science is an issue. Reluctance of faculty to use makes standardization of courses very hard.” “We need to understand assessment before attempting to write SLO’s. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle. We need to have grounding in what is assessment and why we are doing it.”
SUMMER 2010 & 2011: COLLEGE ALGEBRA & PRE-CALCULUS BOOT CAMP • 101 students have participated in the two week summer boot camps • 67 students did the pre and post test • 70% passed their math course in fall 2011 (with “C” or better) • 31%tested out • SUMMER 2010: • 80% were successful in their next math course in fall’10 (“C” or better) • 78% were successful in their next math course Spring 2011 • From the ones that did not pass the post test: • 40 to 60% take the same course next semester • 46% did not enroll in a math course
SUMMER 2010 PRE-CALCULUS BOOT CAMP Math Enrollment after BootCamp 12 of 15 students (80%) were successful in the course (fall’10) 18 of 20 students (78%) were successful in the Spring
SUMMER BOOT CAMP 2011 SUMMER 2011: 66% were successful in their math course in Fall 2011 68% were successful in their math course in Spring 2012 From the ones that did not pass the post test: 52% took the same course next semester 22% did not enroll in a math course
SUMMER 2011 PRE-CALCULUS BOOT CAMP Math Enrollment after BootCamp, n=35 40% 23% 20% 17%