Catalyst Project-Life STEM: Enhancing the Undergraduate Biology Curriculum to Increase Student Engagement
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) 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. Through this one-year project, Tougaloo College seeks to increase student engagement and retention in the Biology sciences by engaging both faculty and students. The proposed project will strengthen curriculum in the first year General Biology laboratory course with more research based activities. Biology faculty members will work with students to create a learning community in the biological sciences to strengthen retention in core classes. The overall outcome will be to strengthen the STEM pipeline by providing undergraduates with a strong foundation in Biology.
The Tougaloo College Biology department will undergo an intensive review of programs to strengthen curricular and co-curricular activities. An important component of this process will be to develop a new introductory Biology laboratory, using research based activities. Assessments of this program will include perception surveys and academic standing to ensure program effectiveness. With a focus on increasing scientific understanding, instructors of the General Biology laboratories will adopt strategies to increase retention rates. Faculty will be supported with developmental opportunities that enhance teaching and research. Students will be provided mentoring and support to increase academic success in critical classes.
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.