Jones, Jay .
Innovation for a New Generation – an initiative to enhance enrollments and graduation rates in the sciences.
The recruitment of well-qualified science majors has become more challenging in recent years. This will have an impact on the production of well-educated scientists needed to meet the demands of an increasingly challenging environment. The level of student preparation for university science programs and their attention spans have declined. Reasons for this most likely include, increasing isolation of children and adults from nature, faster paced, intense stimuli, social values, and the relative rigor of science programs. This initiative sought to increase the number of science graduates with solid theoretical knowledge, the ability to apply it, and the values to use their talents in constructive ways. The project involved the development of an imaging facility and an innovative teaching laboratory. Elements of the initiative included: 1) interactive outreach, 2) renovation and enhancement of freshman majors learning space, 3) providing user friendly research grade instrumentation for instruction and undergraduate research. Outreach efforts have been quite successful. Enrollments in first year majors’ chemistry and biology courses have consistently exceeded pre-initiative enrollments by more than 50%. Retention rates have remained stable, thus the gains achieved have been maintained in the upper division courses. We anticipate that our graduation rates will increase by a similar amount as we graduate our first initiative class. This strategy appears to have been very effective in attracting and retaining Biology and Chemistry students at the University of La Verne. It has also resulted in enhanced laboratory and lecture experiences as well as enriching undergraduate and faculty research.
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1 - University of La Verne, Department of Biology, 1950 Third Street, La Verne, California, 91750, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Boulevard A/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:30 AM