NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSM Students Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

On April 1, NSM students were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society which recognizes and honors exceptional academic achievement in the arts and sciences. Each year, UH invites select students to join the society based on their achievements in liberal arts and sciences coursework. Out of the 119 students inducted, 56 were NSM majors. This is an increase compared to the 29 NSM students inducted last year. We are proud of these students and look forward to more majors joining the society.

Phi Beta Kappa

Pilot Program for Incoming Freshman

An effective practice for increasing student engagement and interaction with their peers is to group incoming freshmen into cohorts. Scheduling freshmen for all their classes together is incredibly difficult to nearly impossible given the sheer volume of students and the wide array of dual credit and AP credit with which they arrive.

NSM will pilot a scaled-down version of the cohort plan for three groups of incoming students – Chemistry, Math, and Biology majors.

Cohort Major Cohort Science Course 1 Cohort Math Course
Biology Introductory Biology 1 Lecture and Labs Pre-Calculus
Chemistry Fundamentals of Chemistry 1 Lecture and Labs Calculus 1 Lecture and Lab
Math Introductory Biology 1 Lecture and Labs Calculus 1 Lecture and Lab

The students in the cohorts will be enrolled in the same introductory-level science and math courses and will be encouraged to register for the Scholar Enrichment Program Workshops for the lecture courses. A partnership between the three departments, the NSM Undergraduate Advising Center, and SEP will provide guidance and support for the students to assist them with enrollment, academic support, and community building.

A welcome event for each cohort will be held at the start of the fall semester to provide information about support and resources that will be available. This will include study sessions, college success information with workshops on topics such as study skills and time management, and some social activities.

The program’s goal is to support students as they build academic, professional, and social networks, and to get them fully engaged in all that NSM and UH has to offer. This effort may lead to decreased DFW rates and improved retention rates. The Fall 2024 pilot program will serve up to 150-200 students and will be expanded in the future to include Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Physics for Fall 2025.

Office of Special Programs Updates

The NSM Office of Special Programs and Office of First Year Programs hosted additional recruiting sessions at local high schools including Manvel, Jersey Village, and Shadow Creek. These school visits are part of NSM’s Houston-area recruiting “Road Map.” The visits focus on recruiting students into NSM in general and into the TC Energy Summer Scholars Program.

Office of First Year Programs (OFYP) Updates

Admissions, Recruitment, and Retention

According to UH by the Numbers, NSM’s admit rate for first time in college students for Fall 2024 is 94% (3,815 admitted out of 4,060 completed).

The OFYP is engaged in several recruitment activities for prospective and admitted first-year students.

  • Updating Recruitment Materials: The OFYP met with the College departments to discuss their respective recruitment goals, activities, and materials to determine potential areas for partnership, to maximize recruitment efforts, and to discuss strategies for enhancing campus visit experiences to include opening laboratories and/or providing demonstrations.
  • NSMeet Open House: NSMeet, scheduled for April 20, is the College’s annual spring open house welcoming admitted students to the College. It features an opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, and student leadership, view NSM’s facilities, learn about degree programs offered within NSM, and discover options for engagement and professional development.
  • Summer Orientation Preparation: OFYP met with the Department of Mathematics, Cullen College of Engineering, and New Student Orientation to discuss the Math Placement Exam schedule during orientation. OFYP is updating Math Placement Exam information materials, communications to be sent to first-year students prior to orientation, and related pre-orientation modules. OFYP also met with our Undergraduate Advising Center and NSM Career Center to discuss orientation presentation materials to promote OFYP and NSM Career Center initiatives and to empower students as they create their first course schedules.

Student Leadership Program

  • Recruiting for the Student Leadership Program: Student Leadership members serve as peer mentors and ambassadors to welcome, engage, and connect with prospective and new NSM students. The Student Leadership application cycle closed March 25 with 177 applications submitted. OFYP conducted interviews with current Student Leadership members who would like to serve as Co-Chairs for the program. A Watch Party was held March 28 where current Student Leadership members reviewed application materials, including submitted interview videos. Select applicants are invited to participate in the second round of the recruitment process which includes group interviews.
  • Retention Related Activities:
    • Student Leadership Team hosted two Study Night events (in partnership with the Scholar Enrichment Program) to support students’ academic success on March 18 (focused on Calculus 2) and March 21 (focused on Chemistry 2).
    • Student Leadership Team hosted the second session of their Professional Development Series (in partnership with NSM Career Center) on April 8. This session focused on leveraging AI for resume and brand building.