The Gateway Science Workshop Program: Enhancing Student Performance and Retention in the Sciences Through Peer-Facilitated Discussion
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Minority student attrition and underachievement is a long-standing and widespread concern in higher education. It is especially acute in introductory science courses which are prerequisites for students planning to pursue science-related careers. Poor performance in these courses often results in attrition of minorities from the science fields. This is a particular concern at selective universities where minority students enter with excellent academic credentials but receive lower average grades and have lower retention rates than majority students with similar credentials. This paper reports the first year results of a large scale peer-facilitated workshop program designed to increase performance and retention in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at a selective research university. After adjusting for grade point average or SAT-Math score, workshop participants earned higher final grades than nonparticipants in Biology and Chemistry, but not in Physics. Similar effects on retention were found. While, positive effects of the program were observed in both majority and minority students, effect sizes were generally largest for minority students. Because of practical constraints in Physics, implementation of the program was not optimal, possibly accounting for the differential success of the program across disciplines.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (1989). Science for all Americans: Project 2061. Retrieved May 6, 2003, from http://www.project2061.org/tools/sfaaol/chap13.htm.
- Bales, R. F., Strodtbeck, F. L., Mills, T., and Rosenborough, T. M. (1951). Channels of communication in small groups. American Journal of Sociological Review 16: 461–468.
- Bligh, D. (2000). What’s the Point in Discussion? Intellect, Exeter, UK.
- Bonsangue, M. V., and Drew, D. E. (1995). Increasing minority students success in calculus. New Directions for Teaching and Learning: Fostering Student Success in Quantitative Gateway Courses 61: 23–33.
- Born, W., Revelle, W., and Pinto, L. (2002). Improving biology performance with workshop groups. Journal of Science Education and Technology 11: 347–365. CrossRef
- Chavez, M., and Maestas-Flores, M. (1991). Minority student retention: ENLACE. New Directions for Community Colleges 74: 63–67.
- Clewell, B. C., and Ficklen, M. S. (1987). Effective institutional practices for improving minority retention in higher education. Journal of College Admissions 116: 7–13.
- Croizet, J., Desert, M., Dutrevis, M., and Leylens, J. (2001). Stereotype threat, social class, gender, and academic under-achievement: When our reputation Catches up to us and takes over. Social Psychology of Education 4: 295–310. CrossRef
- College Entrance Examination Board (1999). Reaching the Top: A Report of the National Task Force on Minority High Achievement (Item No. 201635), College Entrance Examination Board, New York.
- Fullilove, R. E., and Treisman, P. U. (1990). Mathematics achievement among African American undergraduates at the University of California, Berkley: An evaluation of the Mathematics Workshop Program. Journal of Negro Education 59(3): 49–64.
- Freeman, M. (1995). MathExcel: A special opportunity in calculus. Unpublished Report, Department of Mathematics, University of Kentucky.
- Gosser, D., Roth, V., Gafney, L., Kampmeier, J., Strozak, V., Varna-Nelson, P., Radel, S., and Weiner, M. (1996). Workshop Chemistry: Overcoming barriers to student success. The Chemical Educator 1: 2–3.
- Graham, C., Baker, R. W., and Wapner, S. (1984). Prior interracial experience and Black student transition into predominantly white colleges. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47: 1146–1154. CrossRef
- Grandy, J. (1998). Persistence in science of high ability minority students: Results of a longitudinal study. The Journal of Higher Education 69: 589–620.
- Grayson, J. P. (1998). Racial origin and student retention in a Canadian university. Higher Education 36: 323–352. CrossRef
- Jaques, D. (2000). Learning in Groups—A Handbook for Improving Group Work, Kogan Page, London.
- Klein, R. B. (2004). Beyond Significance Testing: Reforming Data Analysis Methods in Behavioral Research, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
- Levin, M. E., and Levin, J. R. (1991). A critical examination of academic retention programs for at-risk minority college students. Journal of College Student Development 31: 323–334.
- Light, G., and Cox, R. (2001). Learning and Teaching in Higher Education—The Reflective Professional, Paul Chapman, London.
- Loo, C. M., and Rolison, G. (1986). Alienation of ethnic minority students at a predominantly white university. Journal of Higher Education 57: 58–77.
- National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics (2004). Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2004, NSF 04-317, Arlington, VA.
- Selvin, P. (1992). Math education: Multiplying the meager numbers. Science 258: 1200–1201.
- Seymor, E., and Hewitt, N. M. (1997). Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.
- Shadish, W. R., Robinson, L., and Lu, C. (1999). ES: A Computer. Program for Effect Size Calculation, St. Paul, MN: Assessment Systems.
- Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., and Donovan, S. (1998). Effects of cooperative learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis (Research Monograph No. 11), University of Wisconsin-Madison, National Institute for Science Education, Madison.
- Steele, C. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologis 52: 613–629. CrossRef
- Steele, C. M., Spencer, S. J., and Aronson, J. (2002). Contending with group image: The psychology of stereotype and social identity threat. In Zanna, M. (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 23), Academic Press, New York, pp. 379–440.
- Tien, L. T., Roth, V., and Kampmeier, J. A. (2002). Implementation of a peer-led learning instructional approach in an undergraduate organic chemistry course. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 39: 606–632. CrossRef
- Tracey, T. J., and Sedlacek, W. E. (1984). Noncognitive variables in predicting academic success by race. Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance 16: 171–178.
- Tracey, T. J., and Sedlacek, W. E. (1985). The relationship of noncognitive variables to academic success. A longitudinal comparison by race. Journal of College Student Personnel 26: 405–410.
- Tracey, T. J., and Sedlacek, W. E. (1987). Prediction of college graduation using noncognitive variables by race. Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance 19: 177–184.
- Treisman, P. M. (1985). A Study of the Mathematics Performance of Black Students at the University of California, Berkley. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkley.
- Treisman, P. V. (1990). Studying students studying calculas: A look at the lives of minority mathematics students in college. The College Mathematics Journal 23(5): 362–372.
- Treisman, U. (1992). Studying students studying calculus: A look at the lives of minority mathematics students in college. The College Mathematics Journal 23: 362–372.
- Vars, F. E., and Bowen, W. G. (1998). Scholastic aptitude test scores, race and academic performance in selective colleges and universities. In Jencks, C., and Meredit, P. (Eds.), The Black-White Test Score Gap. Brookings Institute, Washington, DC, pp. 457–479.
- The Gateway Science Workshop Program: Enhancing Student Performance and Retention in the Sciences Through Peer-Facilitated Discussion
Journal of Science Education and Technology
Volume 14, Issue 3 , pp 337-352
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- peer learning
- collaborative learning
- chemistry physics
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Northwestern University, 627 Dartmouth Place, Evanston, 60208-4181, Illinois
- 2. Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois