This project aims to serve the national interest by increasing access to STEM fields for those students who arrive at institutions of higher education without the academic background to succeed in an introductory STEM Calculus course. The challenge of supporting under-prepared students, a common problem in higher-education, is particularly pronounced in highly-dependent linear se- quences of courses like the Precalculus through Calculus sequence. This IUSE: EHR Tier 1 proposal tests an integrated approach to co-requisite instruction of Precalculus in support of Calculus. By integrating early, robust mechanisms for identifying students in need of support into the Calculus I course and building ready-access to support in advance, this project tests a data-driven, quick- response strategy for helping all students succeed in Calculus.
This two-year experimental academic intervention will measure Precalculus content knowledge acquisition, success in Calculus I and persistence to Calculus 2 for roughly 500 Calculus I students. The experimental cohorts of students will be compared to historical cohorts with similar measures of academic preparation. The comparison will provide a multifaceted evaluation of the effective- ness of co-requisite instruction in support of the Calculus sequence. Materials developed from the experiment, including identification protocols, classroom materials, statistical methods and analyses, will be available on a public, project webpage. The NSF IUSE: EHR Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools.