Biological Sciences has created a learning community program known as the Enhanced Academic Success Experience (EASE) program. First-year Bio Sci majors are selected for the EASE program due to lower Math SAT score (a known predictor of success in the major) and are grouped into cohorts of 30 students. Each cohort takes the same first-year biology and chemistry courses together, meets weekly with a senior peer mentor, and has access to EASE-specific student counselors. Assessment of the first year of the program identified improved first-year GPAs for EASE students as well as gains in sense of belonging and academic and social integration. The plan is to continue assessing the impact of the program longitudinally on academic outcomes, non-cognitive outcomes, and retention. Additionally, discussions are underway with other programs on campus to establish similar cohorts for their at-risk students.
For more information see: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0013189X18778559