NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSM Spring Updates

Happy New Year and welcome back! Below are some undergraduate updates for the Spring semester.

  • Spring 2021 Syllabus Language has been provided on the Office of the Provost COVID-19 Updates and Resources page at: www.uh.edu/provost/policies-resources/covid19/ for your review. There have been some updates to the language so please ensure you are using the latest version of the information for your syllabus. Also, please consider using the NSM syllabus template for your course so that a uniform format will be used for all courses.
  • The Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy is no longer applicable. The policy was not extended beyond Fall 2020. Please communicate this to the students on the syllabus as well as during class.
  • Summer/Fall 2021: Planning for building the Summer 2021/Fall 2021 schedule will begin soon, but at this time there is no new information on instruction modes.
  • Please remember to upload your syllabus and/or CV to your course through your Faculty Center. The deadline to upload your materials is Monday, January 25.

Summer Scholars Academy 2020 Cohort Outcomes

The 2020 cohort of the TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy (SSA) turned in a solid performance in their Calculus and Chemistry courses in the Fall 2020 semester. The program provides a pathway to STEM for students who listed NSM or Engineering as their first choice major but did not meet the admissions requirements for those colleges.

The SSA program provides the students with the opportunity to earn credit for Calculus 1 during the summer and gives them an introduction to Chemistry. SSA also prepares students for the rigor of college through a college-readiness mini-course. At the end of the summer program, participants took the credit by exam for Calculus I, and those who earned credit for the course were able to enroll in Calculus II in their first regular semester.

This is key since NSM data shows that students who complete Calculus I in their first 30 hours are more likely to complete an NSM degree. The participants who did not earn Calculus I credit were enrolled in the appropriate math course based on their Math placement results, where most placed into Calculus I.

For their Fall 2020 courses in CHEM 1331 Fundamentals of Chemistry 1, MATH 1431 Calculus 1, MATH 1432 Calculus 2, we found that SSA students outperformed similar students who were invited to join SSA but chose not to participate in the program (see table).

2020 Summer Scholars Participants 2020 Summer Scholars Invites - Nonparticipants 2020 General Student Population FTIC Students Who Took Courses Their First Semester
Course Course ID Number of Students Average Course GPA Number of Students Average Course GPA Number of Students Average Course GPA
Total Number 50 942 -
CHEM 1331 37 2.285 51 2.077 1047 2.680
MATH 1431 21 2.900 86 2.547 1112 3.021
MATH 1432 24 3.084 6 3.555 142 3.300

Grades of SSA students were still slightly lower than for the FTIC pool in general, but this is not surprising given that students invited to the SSA program are selected based largely on math SAT scores that fell below what is needed for automatic admissions into their preferred majors.

Planning for the SSA 2021 cohort is underway as the team is focusing on recruiting students, particularly from underrepresented groups, for better preparing incoming students to NSM.