Targeted Infusion Project: Infusion of POGIL, Technology and Research into the Chemistry Curriculum to Increase Students' Success
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. The project at Tougaloo College aims to redesign the pedagogy for teaching two important gatekeeping courses, specifically General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry by integrating POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) and introducing cyber and research labs for enhancing the existing STEM courses to bridge common scientific themes and increase collaborations. This project is centered on engaging African-American students by increasing recruitment, retention, graduation rates and job placement in STEM-related fields.
The goals of this Target Infusion Project are to improve the performance in gate-keeping courses leading to an overall increase in retention in the sciences and to strengthen STEM curricula through incorporation of new pedagogical approaches, which promote a greater depth of knowledge in the two most important courses taken by all science majors, leading to an increased enrollment in graduate and professional schools. The three specific objectives to better prepare science majors for 21st-century challenges and careers are 1) Update program content and educational experiences in General and Organic Chemistry courses by infusing POGIL in the teaching pedagogy; 2) Enhance the laboratory courses of General Chemistry I by the infusion of cyber/virtual-labs which will enable motivated students to achieve mastery thus increasing success in the next lab courses; 3) Broaden engagement of students by research interventions in General Chemistry II and Organic Chemistry II labs. The research-based labs would train the science majors for their future research internships at research intensive institutions nationwide, thereby opening up the door toward graduate school. Our curriculum redesign will provide a model with the enormous potential for liberal arts colleges to have a major impact on broadening the opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
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.