2008 APS March Meeting
Volume 53, Number 2
Monday–Friday, March 10–14, 2008;
New Orleans, Louisiana
Session U7: Physics Demonstrations and Strategies for Teaching and Public Outreach
8:00 AM–11:00 AM,
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Morial Convention Center
Chair: James McGuire, Tulane University
Abstract ID: BAPS.2008.MAR.U7.2
Abstract: U7.00002 : Preparing minority undergraduate students for successful science careers.*
8:36 AM–9:12 AM
(Xavier University of Louisiana)
Xavier University of Louisiana is well known for being number one in
graduating the most minority students in physical and biological sciences.
The reason for this success is built on the concept of Standards with
Sympathy in the Sciences (Triple S). This is an outgrowth of over twenty
years of planning and development by the Xavier science faculty to devise a
program for preparing and retaining students in the sciences and
engineering. Xavier has been successfully conducting for over ten years,
Summer Science Academy (SSA) for middle and high school students; Science
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholars and Howard Hughes
Biomedical programs for in-coming freshmen. Recently, through a grant from
NSF, we have developed the Experiential Problem-solving and Analytical
Reasoning (EPsAR) summer bridge program for in-coming freshmen who were
given conditional admission to the university (i.e., those students who
scored below the acceptable range for placement into degree mathematics
courses). In this program, EPsAR participants will be engaged in
problem-solving and critical thinking activities for eight hours per day,
five days per week, for six weeks. Additionally, an interdisciplinary
approach is taken to convey the mathematical skills learned to relate to
physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. Sixty-six students have
participated in the last two years in the EPsAR program. During the first
year 23 of 28 students successfully bi-passed the algebra review course and
were placed into a degree credit course in mathematics. In the second year,
thirty-one (31) of the 38 were advanced to a higher-level mathematics
course. Twenty-three (23) out of 38 went on to degree credit math course. To
retain students in the sciences peer tutoring in all the science disciplines
are made available to students throughout the day for 5 days per week.
Faculty and students are available to give guidance to the needed students.
The University has established a Graduate Placement Office and a Center for
Undergraduate Research to facilitate students' pursuit of gradate studies.
The results of these efforts indicate a 40 percent graduation rate in four
years and increased to 90 percent in six years in the natural sciences and
50 percent of these graduates pursue graduate/professional careers.
*Summer programs were made possible due to a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Programs (HBCU-UP).
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2008.MAR.U7.2