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Positive Dose Response Effects for Students Participating in STEM Structured Learning Communities

Student participation in structured learning communities has a quantifiable positive effect on student grades and retention in gateway science courses.

Our earlier studies to identify students who were “at-risk” revealed characteristics that enabled us to identify such students early in their academic careers and target them for participation in CARSS programs. In this follow up work, we sought to verify and quantify the positive impact of CARSS participation on performance in key gateway courses. Our Specific Aims were to:

  1. Determine the impact of CARSS participation on pass rates in the two-semester general chemistry and organic chemistry course sequences
  2. Quantify the probability of positive outcomes (passing grades) as a function of frequency of participation in CARSS programs

Our results indicate that student participation in CARSS services clearly increases the probability of earning a higher final grade in General Chemistry I and II, two crucial courses for all science majors and ones which prove to be stumbling blocks for many students. This effect is positively linked with the number of times a student participates in CARSS services (study group and review sessions) within a given semester. Moreover, it appears that attendance at even one CARSS review session can affect the likelihood that a student will earn a higher final grade in a course for which CARSS provides services.

Lead Author

  • Rabi Musah

Institution Information

  • Name: SUNY at Albany
  • State: NY

Poster Information

  • ID: LC-008
  • Disciplinary Focus: All STEM
  • Award Number: 0756985
  • Project Year 5+