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NIU has a long and proud history of serving students from all backgrounds, but data on student outcomes shine a light on areas in which we could improve. In gateway courses, for example, some students struggle with meeting our expectations, resulting in higher DFUW rates and equity gaps. This program provides faculty with the tools, resources, and support needed to create inclusive and engaging teaching and learning environments where all students can succeed.
In this pilot program, aligned to our HLC Quality Initiative and university goals for student success and student experience, we provide you with scaffolded support to improve student success in the gateway course(s) you are teaching. We provide timely reminders and suggestions at pivotal points in the semester of specific, actionable strategies you can use in your teaching practice to support student success without compromising academic rigor.
As part of this program, we ask you to implement at least one strategy recommended at each of those pivotal points. We also ask that you provide us with feedback on the strategy you tried, what impact it had, and how our support could be improved.
In this informative and interactive online session, we will discuss the importance of and challenges to student success in gateway courses and collaboratively apply research-based practices for adapting the syllabus and planning the first day of class to build a strong foundation for student success.
As a pedagogical approach, scaffolding provides additional support at key moments when that support is necessary to improve outcomes. In this case, CITL will provide a periodic newsletter throughout the semester with recommendations on key course activities or strategies that you will be able to apply immediately to your teaching. We ask that you will select and apply at least one strategy from each newsletter.
Three times during the semester, you will be asked to submit a status report on the strategies you implemented and their impact. We will also collect your feedback on the usefulness of the resources and strategies provided.
At the end of the program, Institutional Effectiveness will analyze the success rates and equity gaps in gateway courses to determine whether the program had an impact on changing outcomes for students.
Those who demonstrate a commitment to improving student outcomes in gateway courses will be recognized with a digital badge and certificate. The expectation is that participants will submit all three status reports and will have selected and implemented one of the recommended strategies from most of the newsletters.
Faculty who are included in the Scaffolded Support for Teaching Gateway Courses were selected because they are teaching one or more gateway courses in the upcoming semester that met one of the following criteria from our HLC Quality Initiative:
There are two expectations to earn the certificate and digital badge: