Instructors Margie Haak and Paula Weiss will give a seminar titled, “Success GTAs: What Are They and Why Do We Need Them” at the 2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, August 3-7 2014 at Grand Valley University in Michigan.
In Fall term 2013 we created the Success GTA position as part of a larger university-wide pilot program focused on increasing student success in first-year courses that historically have high percentages of students earning grades of D or F, or withdrawing from the course (DFW rates). The fall term enrollment in our three different general chemistry courses (science majors, engineering majors, and majors other than physical sciences) range from 750 to 1200 students and each course has between 3 and 7 lecture sections.
The Success GTAs had several roles in the courses. They all taught at least one recitation or lab section in their assigned course, half the load of a regular GTA . In addition they were responsible for identifying and contacting students who were doing poorly in some aspect of the course: not registered for Mastering Chemistry or not completing the Mastering Chemistry assignments, exams scores well below the class median, not attending recitations or labs. They were also part of the CH 199 courses that were offered to provide extra support to students struggling in general chemistry.
We will present results showing the impact of the Success GTA interventions, discuss the training Success GTAs received prior to the start of fall term classes, and lessons learned from the first year of this program.