Kelly Hogan, a professor in the Biology department, said she was inspired to change her teaching style after a colleague presented her with data that showed discrepancies in class performance. Semesters later, she published her findings and will continue to experiment with her class structure.
“I saw that we had some really bad failure rates when they were disaggregated by race and ethnicity,” said Hogan, “that we had a real problem with underrepresented minorities.”
STUDY IN PRACTICE
63 Average on Crimmins' final before switch to active class
75 Average on Crimmins' final after change to active class
400 Average class size in Hogan's study
Hogan said increasing the retention rates of minority students is important on a national level. President Obama has called for 1 million new STEM graduates in the next ten years, and simply raising retention rates could account for three-quarters of that number, Hogan said.
“We have extremely low retention for our underrepresented minority students,” she said. “We need to start including them. They need to be part of science.”