Teaching STEM to First Generation College Students

A Guidebook for Faculty & Future Faculty

Gail Horowitz, Bard High School Early College, Newark

Published 2019

Do you ever feel like more and more of your students come to your classroom not knowing how to study or what to do in order to be successful in your class? Some students come to college knowing the ropes, knowing what it takes to be successful as STEM students. But many do not. Research shows that students who are the first-generation in their family to attend or complete college are likely to arrive at your classroom not knowing what it takes to be successful. And data shows that more first-generation students are likely to be arriving on your doorstep in the near future. What can you do to help these students be successful?

This book can provide you with some research based methods that are quick, easy, and effortless. These are steps that you can take to help first-generation college students succeed without having to change the way you teach.

Why put in this effort in the first place? The payoff is truly worth it. First-generation college students are frequently low-income students and from ethnic groups underrepresented in STEM. With a little effort, you can enhance the retention of underrepresented groups in your discipline, at your institution and play a role in national efforts to enhance diversity in STEM.

Preface. Acknowledgments. CHAPTER 1: Different Students, Different Stories. CHAPTER 2: First Generation College Students. CHAPTER 3: Success in STEM: It’s Not Just About Effort, Intelligence, or High School Background. CHAPTER 4: Why Incorporate Self-Regulated Learning Into Your Classroom: It’s a “No Brainer” CHAPTER 5: Advice for Lecturers: How to Incorporate Self-Regulated Learning Into Your STEM Course (or Just How to be a More Effective Instructor of First- Generation Students) CHAPTER 6: Advice for Graduate Student Instructors: This Chapter Is for You. CHAPTER 7: Understanding the Psychological Factors That Foster/Hinder Student Adoption of Self-Regulated Learning Behaviors. CHAPTER 8: Mentoring and Forming Relationships With Students. CHAPTER 9: Advice for Undergraduates. CHAPTER 10: Conclusion. About the Author.