NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

Summer 2021 Syllabus: Grade Policy

REMINDER: If you are teaching in Summer 2021, don’t forget to remove the information about the interim grade policy from your syllabus. The policy will not be effective moving forward for Summer 2021, as long as there are no natural disasters or changes in the state of health.

LSAMP Site Visit

The NSM Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation underwent a virtual site visit from National Science Foundation external evaluators on April 15-16. The site visit included a review of the programming from 2018-2020.

The program, now in Phase V of its 22 years of existence, received a very positive evaluation. The evaluators met with faculty, staff, and students from the 2019 and 2020 Summer Scholars Academy cohorts, met with peer facilitators and tutors in the Scholar Enrichment Program (SEP), and attended virtual SEP workshop classes to observe the shift to the use of the collaborative learning-based functions in an online environment.

The evaluators also had the opportunity to discuss program outcomes with the Alliance assessment team, Dr. Cathy Horn and postdoctoral associate Dr. Dina Ghazzawi, who discussed longitudinal data analysis for the Alliance’s 20+ years of operation. This analysis utilizes the UH Educational Research Center to tie together data from all five Alliance campuses and track students from high school through college and into the workforce. The meeting concluded with a wrap-up session with NSM Dean Dan Wells and Dr. Donna Pattison, NSM Assistant Dean for Student Success and overseer of the UH branch of the program.

In the evaluation report for the site visit, the evaluators stated “The SEP continues to offer one of the largest and most dynamic workshop programs in the country, enrolling nearly one thousand students in more than thirty STEM courses each semester.” With UH demonstrating strong numbers of enrollments in STEM and overall degree production, particularly among underrepresented minority students, as well as demonstrating student satisfaction, the evaluators recognized the value added to the educational experience of the students participating in the LSAMP program.

NSM Student Engagement

The NSM Student Leader Program conducted a series of virtual workshops and events throughout the Spring semester. These activities helped NSM students remain connected to the College during a time when many are feeling disconnected due to the pandemic.

The Office of First Year Programs selected 30 new student leaders. With the 23 continuing leaders, there will be 53 student leaders for the 2021-2022 academic year. Student leaders serve as the “face” of the College working as ambassadors, peer mentors to FTIC students, recruiters at local high schools, and representatives at various University, NSM, and community events. They also promote an interdependent and unified culture among NSM undergraduates and support student-success programs and initiatives. It is exciting to see that our students are dedicated to serving as role models to prospective students, helping enhance the undergraduate experience for our students, and sharing their passion for UH and NSM. The student leaders are already planning for and looking forward to in-person events in Fall.

teachHOUSTON Updates

A new partnership has been created between teachHOUSTON and US PREP, Public Impact, along with Aldine and Spring Branch ISDs, which provides funding for student teachers at $7,500 per semester. For the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, $187,500 in support will be available to help defray the cost of tuition and fees for students. We believe this number will grow as planning is in the works to get more districts on board. This funding will also provide sustainability for the innovative and successful teachHOUSTON Alternative Certification Program (ACP) designed to allow career changers and senior-level students to receive teacher certification in nine months.

In addition, teachHOUSTON will receive an additional $165,000 funding from the University of Texas at Austin as part of a DOE SEED grant program. This additional funding was provided to teachHOUSTON due to the overwhelming success of ACP.

teachHOUSTON was highlighted in a recent book on training STEM educators authored by two NSM faculty, Paige Evans and Donna Stokes, along with Texas A&M University faculty, Cheryl Craig. Read more about the book in this article.