The University of Houston’s Department of Biology and Biochemistry launched a Comprehensive Student Success Program (CSSP) in Fall 2012 to improve student success in BIOL1361/1362, our Introductory Biology series for science majors. These are high enrollment, lecture hall based courses with sections ranging in size from 200 to 535 students. The goal of the program is to increase student completion rates in these courses by improving services provided and implementing current best practices in teaching. Our program consists of the following interventions: prerequisite checks, recitations, online homework, active engagement activities in lecture, lab tours and field trips, and teaching workshops for both faculty and teaching assistants.
In the pilot year, 2012–2013, the program served 902 students. In the second year, the program served 1751 students. The program is now provided to all sections of the BIOL1361/1362 series, serving approximately 2,500 students annually. The program has resulted in a 14.5% improvement in the departmental passing rate (grades of A, B, or C) for the BIOL1361/1362 series. The purpose of this website is to share the resources we have developed with the community. We hope you will find materials here that will be useful for your own programs or that spark new ideas for future course development.