From Earlham Cluster Department
- In the near future we should generate a written synopsis of each particular program component. This mock 'executive summary' should include: 1) Brief summary, 2) Statement of (educational) outcomes, 3) Mode of assessment, 4) Timeframes, and 4) Preliminary budget.
HHMI would fund a pilot program that will annually involve 12 rising sophomore students identified as academically struggling during their first year of course-work, specifically during Principles of Chemistry (Chem 111), Cells, Genes, and Inheritance (Bio 112), and Organic Chemistry 1 (Chem 221). This annual, 4-week May-term program facilitated by two Earlham faculty (one biologist and one chemist) and two student TAs (TAs would be upper-level biology or bio/chem majors; after the first year, potential TAs could be selected from those having previously completed the program) will focus on a biology/chemistry interdisciplinary laboratory research project (see below). The projects selected will be designed to give the identified student cohort the opportunity to strengthen both their subject area knowledge-base and their laboratory knowledge and skills. The projects would also introduce some of the advanced methods and topic areas each student will encounter in later biology and chemistry courses. Participation in this program will support and motivate the student cohort as they develop confidence as rising biology and chemistry students. Students participating in this program will receive academic credit. At the end of the grant period, we would begin to offer this program as a regular May-term course offering.
Potential Topics (in no particular order; descriptions will be added shortly):
A. Flavonoids & Protein Expression and analysis (Mike)
B. Ethnobotany and Medicinal Chemistry (Mark and David)
C. Green Fluorescent Protein mutants (Olen)
2. Educational Outcomes:
The overall goal of this program is to increase the retention of those students identified as struggling (see Target Group below) in the biological and chemical sciences by involving them in a biology/chemistry interdisciplinary project that will support and motivate the students as they develop confidence as rising biology and chemistry students. The science strengthening and confidence building of this experience will also enable those students completing the program to be potential peer-leaders in their following fall semester courses.
3. Mode of Assessment/Evaluation:
Assessment and evaluation of the program can begin with evaluations/surveys completed by the participants and instructors at the close of the May-term. Further assessment would continue in the fall and subsequent semesters. The most obvious and simplest measurement would be to calculate the percent retained from the cohort and compare this with students that did not participate in the program (both those students with similar prior scores and those that had higher prior scores than the cohort). Of those students retained, further measure of progress and relative performance of program participants to their non-participant peers would be evaluated.
4. Timeframes, etc.:
This program would run from the first Monday to the last Friday of each May-term providing for four (4), five-day participation weeks and three (3) weekends of activities (social and/or educational TBA).
Target Group: Twelve (12) rising sophomore students identified as academically struggling during their first year of course-work, specifically during Principles of Chemistry (Chem 111), Cells, Genes, and Inheritance (Bio 112), and Organic Chemistry 1 (Chem 221). We would give preference to those students from underrepresented groups (including 1st generation college students).
Faculty Participants: Ideally, each project should be chosen and developed such that it is NOT limited to a specific faculty-member specialty.
Student TAs: Students that have already completed at least their 2nd year and have completed at least the equivalent of Chem 111, 221, and 321; and Bio 112 and 341.
5. Preliminary Budget:
Very roughly estimated at $157,000 for strictly those items listed below. No budget has been calculated for AY-releases if needed for development, etc.
- Faculty stipends/fica (2 x 4 weeks plus development time)
- TA stipends/fica (2 x weeks)
- Student rooms (2 per room for total of 6 rooms?)
- Student meals (3 meals per day x 26 days x 12 students)\
- Extracurricular/co-curricular activities (weekends primarily)
- Small equipment
Notes/Questions from the Sub-group meeting:
- The general agreement was that this program was not necessarily meant to instruct students in any specific topic area but rather to retain and develop the students.
- Is this/should this continue to be called Ã¢â‚¬Å“BridgeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â or should we evolve another name?
- Is the 4-full week timeline sufficient or too long? The general agreement was that it would probably be best for the full 4-weeks and not less.
- How do we identify underrepresented groups and who will these groups be (include 1st generation college students)?
- Fall Seminar: We may not have a fall seminar course/discussion accompanying this experience, but this has not been removed as a possibility. There was relative agreement that even if a seminar group continued with this cohort, that an internship experience was not needed and would be difficult to support along with the internship experience the Public Health Group would be conducting.
- Credits: We propose three (3) credits for the May-term program. If a seminar is incorporated in the Fall, then credit amounts may need adjusted.
- Budget: Do we need AY-release time for course development?