TMCC and NSF help students succeed

Aug 15th, 2012 | By | Category: 24-1: Communicating Yesterday's Stories Today, Tribal College News
By Stacie Blue
Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, Belcourt, ND) has added a new approach to helping students succeed in the sciences. Through funding from the National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (NSF TCUP), TMCC has developed a science survey lecture/lab course to prepare students for college level science courses. During course registration, new students take part in placement testing to determine if they need the science survey course. The students who test at the science survey level are placed into the course by their advisor.

The science survey course began in the fall of 2009 and was initially broken into equal sections in the areas of life, physical, earth and environmental sciences. After student evaluations and course assessment, it was determined that more time should be devoted to physical science, specifically chemistry. The chemistry text was also reviewed and changed to better accommodate students who had little experience with chemistry.

Student comments gathered from the evaluations have helped instructors focus on areas where students struggle and help them better learn the material.

The science survey course also works with students on study skills, time management, and balancing family and college. Being genuinely interested in the students’ goals, talking through some of their challenges, and informing them of their options has helped to keep some students moving forward toward their goals. Students who decide to drop the class and leave school are encouraged to find their way back to school. Students who are determined to succeed will find ways to make it to class even on a -30 degree Fahrenheit morning.

The TMCC NSF TCUP program is currently tracking the students who have taken the science survey course and have gone on to take college level science courses.

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