Developing a "Gateway" Course to Prepare Nontraditional Students for Success in Upper-Division Science Courses
In times of economic downturn, college enrollments often increase. Entering students may come from diverse educational backgrounds and bring variable skill sets. We describe a skills-focused course developed to ensure that transfer and nontraditional students returning to education are prepared to succeed in upper-division science courses. The course focuses on competence in scientific skills, but it also aims to develop learning communities, provide orientation to the science program, and promote student planning. To achieve these aims we use formative surveys, assignments for skill acquisition and practice, cooperative learning experiences, goalsetting tasks, and portfolios. Student feedback indicates that the course has been valuable for improving scientific preparedness, with additional benefits of clarifying curriculum expectations and developing personal responsibility for success.
Journal Of College Science Teaching
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Davies-Vollum, Katherine S. and Greengrove, Cheryl L., "Developing a "Gateway" Course to Prepare Nontraditional Students for Success in Upper-Division Science Courses" (2010). SIAS Faculty Publications. 140.