Ok, I suppose the cat can be released at this point.
There are somewhere about 10 students left in my Bio 111 lecture, about the same in my lab. Considering we started out with well over double that, this is disappointing.
Coastal recognizes this is a persistent problem in particular classes and has a plan to address this high drop/fail rate in these classes. Building on a model from U Missouri KC, they are considering instituting what will be known as the PASS program (Peer Assisted Study Sessions). They will be taking a student that has done well in the class in a previous semester and having that student lead a voluntary group study session a few times a week, so that the student who did well in the past can give students currently taking the class some help.
It’s a paid position (not much, but some), and the peer group leader has to keep separate office hours in addition to the group study sessions, to be available for individual assistance.
Additionally, the peer group leader repeats the class (for free and not for a grade) to keep current with the various sections.
Doc asked me a few weeks ago if I’d do this next semester (assuming the college follows through – it’s not 100% commitment yet), and at the time said I was the first one he thought of. I was pretty chuffed about that, regardless of whether I got the position.
He gave me a letter of recommendation, and I turned that in with my application for employment, and the interview went well, I think.
(More below the fold)
I spoke to Doc yesterday about some unrelated stuff, and he told me that I was the only one he recommended for the job. Since the position requires a letter of recommendation from an instructor that teaches the course, and he’s the only Bio 111 instructor…
IF the college follows through with this, not only will I get the opportunity to sit in on the class again, but I’ll be sitting in on ALL FOUR SECTIONS. Now, in addition to the study sessions, the office hours, the face time I’ll have to have with Doc, the face time I’ll have to have with the program director, four Bio 111 lectures and labs…
That’s a lot of time.
I lightened my course load a bit, and only registered for 12 hours next semester. I’m taking 14 this semester and had planned on upping that a little with maybe one extra class (I was eyeballing zoology), but it’s just not going to happen.
For next semester, I’m taking Conceptual Physics (intro course recommended to me by the dept head) + lab, Bio 112 + lab, Literature-based research (English 113), and this ACA 111 course that the college requires of all students (it’s like “Intro to Academic Success” or something and it’s a one credit class which I’m taking online).
I think that’s going to be more than enough of a load, figuring in the PASS leader thing.
Anyway, I’m pretty excited about the program, and about being asked to do it.
From whence came the art: