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ERIC Number: EJ1174794
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1557-5284
Enhancing Learning Power through First-Year Experiences for Students Majoring in STEM Disciplines
Koch, Robert; Kucsera, John; Angus, Kathryn Bartle; Norman, Kimberly; Bowers, Erica; Nair, Pradeep; Moon, Hye Sun; Karimi, Afshin; Barua, Susamma
Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, v19 n1 p22-30 Feb-Mar 2018
Academic programs targeted for first-time students can help their persistence in STEM majors. Our project, ASCEND STEM, included three first-year experiences (FYEs) designed to offer students the skills that would help them successfully traverse potential barriers to academic success. In the FYEs, we sought to strengthen the learning power, improve the academic achievements, and increase the postsecondary success of first-time, full-time freshmen majoring in a STEM discipline. Two models of FYE were offered in three settings--two scenarios were for engineering majors and the third for science and mathematics majors. Both models tested whether the offering of literacy skill building in the context of discipline knowledge acquisition strengthened learning power (as measured by the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) and asked whether this could affect academic success and persistence within the STEM major. We found that either model one, integrating literacy skill building and discipline-based concepts into a single course (the approach used in science and math), or model two, pairing a literacy skill building course with either a discipline-based course or a special group support program (the approach used in engineering), improved learning power. Increases in learning power were a valid predictor of improved grades and persistence in engineering where a high-quality control group was available.
Institute for STEM Education and Research. P.O. Box 4001, Auburn, AL 36831. Tel: 334-844-3360; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A