Implementation and outcomes of high impact practices across stem disciplines at an hbcu
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Implementation and Outcomes of High‐ Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU. Andrew D. Lloyd, Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences Cynthia van Golen, Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences Margie Vela, SMILE Project Assistant Director

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Implementation and outcomes of high impact practices across stem disciplines at an hbcu

Implementation and Outcomes of High‐ Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Andrew D. Lloyd, Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences

Cynthia van Golen, Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences

Margie Vela, SMILE Project Assistant Director

Rashida Davis, RISE Program Coordinator

Delaware State University, Dover, DE

Delaware state university
Delaware State University Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Founded in 1891, Land Grant institution

  • 75% African-American enrollment

  • Enrollment is currently 4178 students; primarily from the Mid-Atlantic region

  • 52 undergraduate degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and five doctoral degree programs

  • STEM focus

Core features
Core Features Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU


NSF - funded


NIH - funded

Mentoring - Leadership focus

Research Scholars – Student-focused

Peer-led Team-Learning - General Biology

  • Mentoring – Peer/academic focus

  • Research Scholars – Faculty-focused

  • Peer-led Team-Learning - Math

Rise mentorship
RISE - Mentorship Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Individual mentorship

    • Individual meetings

    • Resume/CV prep

    • Research mentor/student matching

  • RISE Library

  • Professional development seminars

  • Graduate student/undergraduate researcher pairing, mentorship lunches

Smile project mentorship
SMILE Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUProject -Mentorship

  • Incoming first-year students

  • Mentored by successful sophomores and juniors

  • Students attend one-week summer training camp before classes begin

  • Mandatory weekly contact with peer mentor

  • Mandatory weekly study hall

Smile mentoring program planning cycle

Prelaunch Preparation Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Clarifying Institutional Needs


Prelaunch Preparation

Identifying and Validating Protégés Needs


Prelaunch Preparation

Recruit mentors


Prelaunch Preparation

Assess level of training needs for mentors


Prelaunch Preparation

Train Mentors and Protégés


Program Evaluation

Refining Goals and Strategies

End of Academic Year

Program Launch

Pairing Mentors and Protégés

Late Summer

Program Evaluation

Mid Term and End of Year

Program Evaluation

Measuring, Adjusting, and Sustaining

Mid Term

Program Support

Weekly Group Debriefing Session

Academic Year

Program Support

Mentor Weekly meetings

Academic Year


Mid Term and End of Year Report

End Fall Term, End Spring Term

SMILE Mentoring Program Planning Cycle

Smile project freshmen training camp
SMILE Project - Freshmen Training Camp Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Skill Building Sessions

    • Mathematics, Problem Solving, & Analytical Reading

    • Foster Higher-level Thinking

    • Instill a “Growth-model” mindset

  • Science lab activities

    • Carry out a group research project in their major

  • Motivational Speakers

    • Instill positive self-beliefs

  • Team-Building Exercises

Smile mentoring impact
SMILE – Mentoring Impact Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • No overall improvement in GPA

  • Impact on retention in the major unclear

  • Significant impact on credit-hours earned

  • Impact on pass rates in selected gatekeeper courses inconsistent

  • Protégés self-report improved academic focus, time management and interpersonal communication

Implementation rise scholars
Implementation - RISE Scholars Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Chosen through application during the fall semester of freshman year

  • Two academic years of funding ($2400/semester), two summers of funding ($3600/summer), although encouraged to apply offsite after sophomore year

  • Presentation of research required

  • One-semester class - Research Operations

Outcomes rise scholars
Outcomes: RISE Scholars Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Effects of research operations course
Effects of Research Operations Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUCourse

Smile project undergraduate research organization
SMILE Project Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUUndergraduate Research – Organization

  • Proposal written by faculty member; must contain professional development plan for student researcher

  • A $3600 over the summer and $1500/per semester stipend for a year-long commitment to a research project with a faculty member.

  • Up to $4000 for equipment and supplies to the PI to support the research.

  • Presentation of research at the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Meeting.

  • Presentation of research at DSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and during Honors Day.

Smile project undergraduate research implementation
SMILE Project Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUUndergraduate Research - Implementation

  • Eight to ten projects funded each year

  • Students gained experience presenting their work

  • One challenge was maintaining student involvement in one project for an entire year

  • Several student research presentations won awards at ERN and other conferences

Rise peer led team learning pltl in general biology
RISE – Peer-Led Team-Learning (PLTL) in General Biology Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • RISE trained and supervised peer leaders for PLTL workshops in General Biology

  • Peer leaders paid by RISE

  • Utilized instructor-developed problems

  • Added two additional contact hours to the course for a total of 9 hours/week

  • Implemented in all sections starting Fall 2011

Rise pltl implementation
RISE PLTL - Implementation Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Year 1: One section (out of 3); 1 leader per workshop, workshop size 6-16 students

  • Year 2: All three sections; 2 leaders per workshop, workshop size 24 students; leader coordinator

  • Year 3: All three sections; 2 leaders per workshop, workshop size 24 students; leader coordinator

Rise outcomes peer led team learning
RISE Outcomes - Peer-led Team Learning Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Smile project pltl organization
SMILE Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUProject – PLTL Organization

  • College Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus I

  • Initially implemented as stand-alone workshop class linked to math course (Fall 2010)

  • Changed in Fall 2011 by adding one hour (Trigonometry) or two hours (College Algebra and Calculus I) to courses

  • Time split between class material and problem-solving using “Problem of the Week” format developed by the Math Forum at Drexel University

Overall pltl impact
Overall PLTL Impact Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Some apparent improvement in pass rates in General Biology

  • No effect in College Algebra grades, but do see improved pass rates in Trigonometry

  • Analysis of grades in subsequent Biology courses is planned

  • Change in Biology curriculum has disrupted continued PLTL implementation

Smile project summer online math classes
SMILE Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCUProject – Summer Online Math Classes

  • Math placement procedure changed for the class matriculating in Fall 2011

    • Cut scores for College Algebra placement raised

  • Nearly 90% of incoming STEM majors placed into non-credit developmental math (Intro. to Algebra)

  • SMILE developed and offered online version of Intro. to Algebra in the Summer of 2012 to SMILE students placing into that course

    • Contracted with outside developer

Smile project summer online math classes1
SMILE Project – Summer Online Math Classes Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Results for Summer 2012:

  • Of 26 SMILE students, 21 passed the summer online Intro. to Algebra course (80.8%)

  • These students were able to take College Algebra in their first semester

  • This could potentially increase their credit-hours earned compared to non-SMILE STEM students

  • Analyzed this cohort’s performance on the Fall 2012 College Algebra common departmental final exam

Smile project summer online math classes summer 2013
SMILE Project – Summer Online Math Classes Summer 2013 Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Positive results encouraged us to expand project to online College Algebra

  • All incoming SMILE students were placed in either College Algebra or Intro. to Algebra

  • Used modified placement procedure for College Algebra

    • For all placed into Intro. to Algebra reviewed math SAT and HS math classes

    • Ten students were moved up to College Algebra

Impact of taking summer online math course
Impact of Taking Summer Online Math Course Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

Summer 2013 online math classes impact
Summer 2013 Online Math Classes - Impact Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Pass rate for online Intro. to Algebra similar to 2012 (75%)

  • Students in the online College Algebra class outperformed students in the same course taught in person by the same instructor

  • The number of SMILE students who started Fall 2013 semester in non-credit developmental math reduced from 35 to 7

  • Performance in Trigonometry this fall will be assessed.

Overall lessons learned
Overall Lessons Learned Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • Be flexible

  • However, structure and organization is key

  • Train, train, train

  • Set up systems to ensure accountability

  • Make use of external and internal evaluation

  • Know your population and its needs

Acknowledgements Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

The SMILE Project was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant – HRD 0928404

RISE is supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25GM089669

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health

Now it s your turn
Now it’s your turn! Impact Practices across STEM Disciplines at an HBCU

  • What is feasible in your institution?

  • What support is available?

  • What are your students’ greatest needs?