P211: How cCWCS and guided inquiry laboratories helped a small community college obtain grant funding
Prairie State College (PSC), a community college located in the south suburbs of Chicago, received a Department of Education grant designed to increase the number of African American graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and to increase the number of African American students who successfully complete gateway math and science courses. To achieve these goals, we have focused on curricular and student service interventions. The curricular innovations include implementing Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL), peer tutoring, introducing more inquiry based experiments in the laboratory, and increasing opportunities to use instrumentation. Student service strategies include hiring STEM specific advisers for the students, student participation in various workshops on study skills and time management, and encouraging students to engage in undergraduate research. This paper will focus on how the curricular innovations, specifically how the cCWCS workshop on guided inquiry learning in the laboratory, helped to revitalize the chemistry program at PSC and gain faculty buy in for other curricular changes.