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ERIC Number: ED423533
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Minority Students and the Learning Community Experience: A Cluster Experiment.
Fredericksen, Elaine
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) produces more Hispanic graduates who seek doctoral degrees than any other university in the country. These students, however, still belong to that group of minorities who traditionally have done poorly in college, particularly in science, engineering, and mathematics. To remedy this situation, UTEP has instituted a collaborative learning program. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation as part of its Model Institutions for Excellence initiative, this program links courses in English composition with either science and math or engineering and math. Clusters of 25 students each travel from class to class as a group. All courses use learning communities and collaborative projects, most including writing across the curriculum. Since the first pilot program in 1995, Cluster students have done surprisingly well in terms of successful completion of precalculus math courses, which determine whether or not they will be allowed to continue in these majors. In fact, what was once a 75% failure rate has become a 75-80% pass rate. UTEP's learning communities initiative aims to redesign education to fit the specific needs of this particular population. Perhaps the most significant benefit of post-secondary learning communities appears in increased levels of student self-confidence. (Contains 8 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A