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Dedicated Premed Advisement Our director of premedical studies maintains up-to-date information about medical school admission requirements, admission tests, and professional school application procedures, and guides premed students throughout the process.
She mentors students throughout their time at Florida Tech, helping them select electives and choose research activities that will bolster their chances of getting into medical school upon graduation. Courses The courses that premed students take depend on their major. For biology students, there are lectures and laboratories in anatomy, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, developmental biology, and immunology. In chemistry, students explore analytical and physical chemistry. Physics students take advanced courses in modern physics, thermodynamics, and optics.
Upper level biomedical engineering majors explore biomechanics and biomedical measurements and instrumentation, and take courses in biomedical engineering design. To round out their background, all of our students take courses in the humanities and social sciences. Our curriculum not only works in getting students admitted into medical or vet school, it also makes these professional school courses easier. You can review all of the core courses in the Catalog. Real Experience Students in the sciences will have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge biomedical research.
Students in biomedical engineering will participate in a capstone experience as part of required courses where they will design and build a prototype of an actual device that will be used for demonstration. In the sections below, we highlight some innovative and effective strategies for improving student success across each dimension of the student experience, and we describe the foundational capacities that institutions should develop if they are to drive meaningful improvements.
An epidemic further compounded by demographic shifts The proportion of students coming to college from wealthy or middle-class families—students who tend to be well-equipped to complete their postsecondary degree—is shrinking.
Before long, a majority of US schoolchildren will likely be raised in low-income households see figure 3. Among low-income graduates who attend college, many will be the first in their families to do so. These students often face an especially tough path to graduation.
For students from low-income families, financing is not the only factor standing in the way of higher learning. The study found that in schools where more than 75 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch, a proxy for income level, average literacy scores are far below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD average.
By contrast, students attending schools where fewer than 10 percent receive free or reduced lunch tend to have the highest literacy scores in the world.
Beyond inadequate academic preparation, first-generation college students may not be able to rely on family or friends for advice about higher education.
This can result in an additional burden of constructing a support network of mentors, role models, and advisors all on their own.
Without suitable advice and counseling, these students may make decisions that adversely affect their circumstances—and thus, their education. High-impact learning The lecture-based model for learning has characterized higher education since its inception. But, with better technology and a much deeper understanding of how students learn, educators are starting to personalize learning.
They are combining leading elements of traditional teaching with digital technology, using analytics to tailor the curriculum to individual learners, and focusing on competencies rather than credit hours to help students graduate sooner.
Here we examine a few of the most promising innovations designed to improve learning outcomes—each rooted in the idea that students come to college with different levels of knowledge, learn in different ways, and progress at varying paces.
Blended learning The Center for Digital Education reports that blended or hybrid education models improve comprehension and test scores for 84 percent of students. A US Department of Education analysis found blended learning to be more effective than conventional face-to-face classes or online learning models. As part of a broad initiative to redesign courses across the curriculum, Missouri State University, for example, implemented a flipped classroom model for its Introductory Psychology course.
Before the change, the course was taught in a traditional lecture format. Under the new model, students read course materials and completed online assignments before coming to class, where seven staff members a full-time instructor, a graduate assistant or adjunct instructor, and five undergraduate learning assistants worked with about students per section. Through the new format, a higher staff-to- student ratio, and other improvements, the university saw the number of students earning As or Bs in Introductory Psychology increase by 31 percent in conjunction with a drop of 10 percent in the cost of delivering the course.
Students work through the program at their own pace, aided by an instructor. The adaptive system uses student data to continually assess what a student knows, remediate any proficiency gaps identified, and reassess student mastery of course concepts, giving each student a personalized learning path.
Instructors gain an in-depth view of which students are on- and off-track and why, so they can intervene in a timely way.
Instructors also see which concepts students are struggling with across the board, so they can focus class time on mastering those concepts. According to Phil Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU Online, students' performance in entry-level math helps predict whether they will graduate from the university.
They have varying levels of education and experience, likely cannot afford four years to complete a degree, may need to work part-time or full-time, and often must juggle family and other responsibilities while completing their studies. Rather than using the number of credit hours completed as the yardstick for success, competency-based degree programs focus on whether students actually master the material.
The idea stems from a simple premise, says Jeffrey Selingo, author of College Unbound: The number of institutions offering competency-based degrees has grown in recent years to include some large public universities, such as the University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and Northern Arizona University.
The University of Wisconsin, the first major public university to offer a competency-based program, allows working adults with some college experience to finish their degrees through online courses and competency testing.
Student services that are effectively targeted and delivered in a timely fashion can do much to help students along and produce better outcomes. Some institutions, for example, assign students a financial aid counselor when they receive their acceptance, while others require students to complete their financial aid applications before they register or enroll. Arizona State University, for example, designed a series of carefully crafted, timely email messages to remind students— and in some cases, their parents—to submit the financial aid application.
This strategy increased filings by the priority deadline by 72 percent. It also increased the number of FAFSA applications submitted by the start of the following school year from 67 percent to 73 percent. In Georgia, the state covers the tuition at a Georgia institution for any eligible student who maintains a 3. Most, they found, were maintaining averages of just under 3. Students who lost support rarely graduated on time, if at all.
The goal is to prevent these students from dropping out. In addition to maintaining a GPA of 2.
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Identifying students who are at risk of dropping out or falling behind and targeting interventions for them can be a tough task. Take Bucknell University, for example. Starting with the class ofBucknell has been using predictive modelling to identify students who need extra help getting through their first year of college see figure 5. A code that indicates a problem such as poor attendance, low grades, or lack of campus engagement prompts the university to intervene.
For example, a student who struggles in a class during the first weeks of the semester might get a prompt to seek out tutoring, receive a list of available tutoring services, or be sent a personal message from a tutor who can provide help. Having an academic plan when they first matriculate, a clear idea of which program and courses to choose, and timely support can all help them stay on track.
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The STAR Guided Pathways Systems use technology developed by the university to give students a clear and streamlined route to graduation, by enabling them to track their progress, review requirements, and explore the impact of scheduling and changes in major on the time it will take them to graduate.
Students left on their own to choose from among a wide variety of disconnected courses, programs, and support services often have a hard time navigating their way to a diploma. Quite a few never make it. The University of Texas at El Paso, in a year pilot program started inreplaced one hour of lecture in a large STEM course with more than students with many, small two-hour peer-led team learning workshops, taught by intensively trained undergraduate students who had previously excelled in the course.
A year study of this pilot showed that this program produced a greater than 15 percent increase in the weighted average of the passing rate. It has proven to be particularly helpful in supporting low-income and first-year students. When students fail to graduate, sometimes the ordinary obstacles of daily life are to blame. Conflicts with work schedules, unreliable child care, lack of transportation, and unpredictable class schedules can all obstruct students in their progress toward their degrees.
Campus officials should do their best to help students work around those challenges. Greater predictability through structured scheduling Inmore than one-third of students who enrolled in college attended part-time. Part-time students need greater control over the hours they spend on campus, so that they can better manage their personal and academic obligations. Flexible, predictable schedules help prevent students from dropping out and encourage more students to enroll full-time.
For example, they might design schedules in morning or afternoon blocks—for instance, from 9: For students with obligations off-campus, these blocks can be easier to manage than a schedule of or minute courses punctuated by hours of free time. Schedule blocks also help students form learning communities and working groups, offering vital student- to-student support and a strong sense of connectedness to faculty and institutions.
Students enrolled in the program take a single course at a time, meeting for a three- or four-hour block for 18 days.
Once students complete the course, they move on to the next four-credit block, enabling them to earn the same amount of credit as they would under a traditional multi-class system. Once students choose their programs, college officials can decide on the required sequence of courses and then block those courses in coherent, connected schedules.
To broaden access to services, colleges and universities are adopting a growing number of digitally enabled student services, in addition to traditional in-person services offered on campus. Johns Hopkins University, for instance, offers Skype-based advising sessions. A one-stop mobile app offers a crucial channel for accessing campus services and communicating with advisors, mentors, and counselors.
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Students can use this app to plan their schedules; manage their study time; keep track of assignments; form study groups; get information about campus events, clubs, and services; organize activities; communicate with individuals and groups; and a great deal more.
As first-year students started using the app in large numbers, it helped them find roommates, connect with on-campus activities, and obtain help from upperclassmen, all of which helped ease the transition to university life. A college that forges relationships with outside entities offers its students an edge in their academic careers and beyond. An institution might, for example, partner with high schools to help prepare students for college.
It could collaborate with peer institutions to share leading practices, or to implement strategies cost-effectively. Support from a variety of stakeholders, coordinated by an institution of higher learning, can help put students in a better position to succeed.
Preparing high schoolers for the rigors of college Many students enter college unprepared. While 87 percent of high school students surveyed by YouthTruth said they wanted to go to college, only 45 percent felt ready to succeed there.
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They may even lack the emotional stamina that college life demands. Partnerships between colleges and high schools can help ease the transition to higher education. To help improve the odds for incoming students, the AHC program worked with students who were on-track to graduate from New York City public high schools but had not met traditional benchmarks of college readiness, such as adequate SAT scores.
Research by Complete College America found that 71 percent of students in the Montana State University system do not make it through gateway-level college math classes within two years—a major deterrent to persistence.