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ERIC Number: EJ1058121
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Increasing Persistence in Undergraduate Science Majors: A Model for Institutional Support of Underrepresented Students
Toven-Lindsey, Brit; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Barber, Paul H.; Hasson, Tama
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v14 n2 Article 12 Jun 2015
The 6-yr degree-completion rate of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors at U.S. colleges and universities is less than 40%. Persistence among women and underrepresented minorities (URMs), including African-American, Latino/a, Native American, and Pacific Islander students, is even more troubling, as these students leave STEM majors at significantly higher rates than their non-URM peers. This study utilizes a matched comparison group design to examine the academic achievement and persistence of students enrolled in the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS), an academic support program at the University of California, Los Angeles, for first- and second-year science majors from underrepresented backgrounds. Results indicate that PEERS students, on average, earned higher grades in most "gatekeeper" chemistry and math courses, had a higher cumulative grade point average, completed more science courses, and persisted in a science major at significantly higher rates than the comparison group. With its holistic approach focused on academics, counseling, creating a supportive community, and exposure to research, the PEERS program serves as an excellent model for universities interested in and committed to improving persistence of underrepresented science majors and closing the achievement gap.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH); National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: R25GM055052|NSF1102531
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards