PCFF2 Institution Profiles

Albany State University
Albany, GA

Louise Wrensford, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Natural Sciences
ACAD
louise.wrensford@asurams.edu

Rhonda Porter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
rhonda.porter@asurams.edu

Project Summary

Albany’s project goal was to increase faculty skills and the use of evidence-based teaching and communication strategies in the curriculum to improve student performance in the STEM disciplines. STEM faculty at Albany State University applied to participate in a curriculum development opportunity starting in the summer and lasting through the academic year. The project hosted three workshops during the summer where faculty adopted evidence-based strategies to at least one topic in their course. Participating faculty obtained training from internal and external experts, and were provided access to an online learning community. Their objectives included a) To improve faculty comfort (confidence) levels in using non-lecture based effective teaching and communication strategies by 20%; b) Increase the number of faculty participants utilizing non-lecture based strategies as integral components of their courses by 70%; and c) increase in the number of STEM courses that use non-lecture based strategies to deliver instruction by 25 %. Albany State met all of their objectives. Their top accomplishments were as follows:

  1. Fall semester, 100 % implemented in one course (requirement) and 72% of faculty implemented in 2 or more courses.
  2. Spring semester, all but one participant indicated they would continue to implement non-lecture based strategies.
  3. The following was reported in follow-up survey of faculty:
    1. 9 of 9 respondents are currently implementing strategies
    2. 89% of respondents in 2 or more courses
    3. 55% of respondents indicated strategies utilized in 50-75 % of course
  4. Institutional wide STEM courses (104 courses offered in Fall 2014) with 10.5% impacted by PCFF.

Posters/Presentations/Symposia

Porter, R., Carton, J., & Wrensford, L. (2015). Mentoring: A Catalyst for Institutional Change in a STEM Professional Development Program. 8th Annual Mentoring Conference: New Perspectives in Mentoring. University of New Mexico—Mentoring Institute, Albuquerque, NM. October 20-23, 2015.

Wrensford, L ., Porter, R., Carthon, J., Mason, H. & Johnson, J. (2015). Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future: A Professional Development Program to Enhance STEM Education. 7th Conference on Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Science Careers, San Diego, CA. May 15-17, 2015

Wrensford, L., Porter, R., Carthon, J., Mason, H., & Johnson, J. (2015). Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future: Agents of Change to Promote Student Engagement and Student Learning. University System of Georgia Teaching and Learning Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning, Athens, GA. April 8-9, 2015

Porter, R., Carton, J., & Wrensford, L. (2015). Mentoring: A Catalyst for Institutional Change in a STEM Professional Development Program. 8th Annual Mentoring Conference: New Perspectives in Mentoring. University of New Mexico—Mentoring Institute, Albuquerque, NM. October 20-23, 2015.

Wrensford, L ., Porter, R., Carthon, J., Mason, H., & Johnson, J. (2015). Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future: Agents of Change to Enhance Student Engagement and Learning in STEM. STEM Academic Renewal Conference, Crossing Boundaries: Transforming STEM Education, Seattle, WA. November 12-14, 2015.

Coppin State University
Baltimore, MD

Mary Owens-Southall, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Graduate Studies
mowens@coppin.edu

Wanda McCoy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
wmccoy@coppin.edu

Coppin’s campus project goals for it’s integrative learning project (ILP) were to find strategic points of connection, threading attention to integrative learning throughout and between their institution's various programs, and encouraging and scaffolding students' own efforts to connect the parts. Project outcomes include: a) successful introduction of an integrated learning model for STEM; b) implementation of two (2) ILP projects integrating biology and mathematics general education courses; c) successful modification of the two general education course curriculums; and d) enhancement of student engagement and learning. Their top accomplishments are as follows:

  1. Total of 47 student participants impacted by project.
  2. Obtained institutional buy-in for coordination of class schedules of the Math and Biology courses to enable implementation of the ILPs via joint meetings.
  3. Team WISE sponsored Ebola Awareness Day at CSU (2014).
  4. Provided campus-wide professional development on Integrated Learning.

Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, FL

Anita Mandal, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
anita.mandal@ewc.edu

Felicia Wider-Lewis
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
feli3@hotmail.com

The goal of the Edward Waters College Action Plan was to increase the scholarly activities and further develop teaching strategies for EWC faculty members. The project included a research project as a part of BIO 490- Special Topics in Biology, a re-instituted course that members of the team co-taught during the fall 2014 semester. The faculty team collected and analyzed data to ascertain if students who successfully completed the new course demonstrated improved critical thinking skills as measured by a critical thinking assessment and if completion of the course impacted their academic performance in other classes. Their top accomplishments were as follows:

  1. Fall 2014- enrolled in Bio 490- had 8 officially on the roster and 1 not registered but participated in the course as a volunteer
  2. Spring 2015- enrolled 16 students in 3 sections of BIO 490 plus an independent student
  3. Enrollment doubled from one term to the next. It is believed that student engagement increased because they were able to work on a project that they selected and found relevant to their personal lives.
  4. Participating faculty reported that the use of non-lecture strategies transformed their teaching methods and they plan to utilize active learning strategies going forward.

Posters/Presentations/Symposia

Mandal, A., Wider-Lewis, F. (2015) Collaborative Learning through Faculty Student Learning Communities In STEM. STEM Academic Renewal Conference, Crossing Boundaries: Transforming STEM Education, Seattle, WA. November 12-14, 2015 

North Carolina Central University
Durham, NC

Gail P. Hollowell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
ghollowell@nccu.edu

Yolanda Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair, Geospacial Sciences
yandersn@nccu.edu

10 NCCU STEM faculty formed a learning community and had regularly scheduled meetings twice a semester. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the faculty learning community a) completed a 2-week online Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) course; b) participated in a webcast on Building Critical Thinking through Project-based learning; and c) attended a STEM higher education conference. Ongoing revisions to existing STEM online courses are underway and in some cases faculty are transitioning a traditional course to an online delivery format. With documented success over the last academic year, the institution has committed to expand the project to other disciplines and broaden the QM certified course offerings in the STEM disciplines. Other notable accomplishments were as follows:

  1. STEM Faculty completed an optional course funded by NCCU Office of Extended Studies
  2. Participation in 2015 Gateway Course Experience Conference (Charlotte, NC) Faculty Presentation on Improving Student Performance in College Algebra through Course Redesign and Pedagogy

Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC

Jill Keith, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Biochemistry
Department of Biological Sciences
harpj@wssu.edu

Tennille D. Presley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Physics
presleyt@wssu.edu

The goal of the PCFF2 project for WSSU was to expand our faculty learning community, develop a summer bridge program to improve STEM education, and foster collaborations amongst STEM students and faculty. They held a series of faculty institute workshops (2 this reporting period with 9 total over life of grant) that focused on establishing a stronger faculty learning community. These workshops varied with the number of faculty participants and disciplines.

Their Science Immersion Program (SIP) extended the semester of key gatekeeper courses (introduction to biology, chemistry and algebra/pre-calculus), and targeted incoming freshmen students in biology, chemistry, mathematics and nursing, who exhibited a high school GPA between 2.5 to 2.8 (unweighted). From this they managed successful academic tracking of 7 students through rigorous academic advising.

The also launched an integrative learning course on campus integrating physics-based concepts into the General Biology (BIO 2301) curriculum with 128 students enrolled, a 13% increase from the traditional class size. When given the same assignment integrating physics and biology course concepts, over 60% of the integrative learning participants scored a C or better compared to those in the traditional biology course, and increase of over 15%.

Posters/Presentations/Symposia

Keith, J., Presley, T. (2015). Integrative Learning: A Model for Student and Faculty Development. 7th Conference on Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Science Careers, San Diego, CA. May 15-17, 2015.