A Cross-Disciplinary Research Collaboration Identifies Critical Factors in STEM Student Success

Document Type


Conference Title

Transforming STEM Higher Education: Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence, AAC&U


Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)


San Francisco, CA

Conference Dates

November 2-4, 2017

Date of Presentation



Introductory biology courses are “gateway” courses for many majors. In many colleges and universities, attrition and achievement problems are barriers to student success and program effectiveness. This poster will illustrate the effectiveness of cross-disciplinary partnerships among different departments including administration, in the identification of important factors associated with student success. Facilitators will describe how this collaborative approach has helped identify at least two critical factors associated with biology student success thus far – class size and writing proficiency. Participants will become familiar with the problems introductory biology students encounter and the conundrums of finding the best approach to better understand these challenges. They will learn about this crossdisciplinary research approach, including the nature of the experimental design, data collection, data analysis and final publication in peer-reviewed journals. Participants will be able to discuss how this approach represents an effective method to identify critical factors associated with success.

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