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Saunders is Fighting Equity Gaps

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry associate clinical professor Chris Saunders is making changes to his classroom to better combat the barriers some Boise State students face. Many students from families that have never had a college attendee may lack knowledge of how  college works. Other students face “stereotype threat,” the fear of confirming negative views of their social group. Both barriers can affect student performance, even causing some to leave. When administrators discovered these academic achievement gaps, they formed the Designing for Student Success Faculty Learning Community. The program consists of a series of workshops centered on research-based practices proven to reduce equity gaps at the course level.

Saunders was part of the first cohort in Spring 2019 and after seeing his data from the group’s first semester, he and other Boise State faculty have implemented changes to how they approach their courses. With a better understanding of the cultural and psychological challenges that our students face, adjustments have been made to syllabi, test prep, certain classroom practices, and some faculty like Saunders, have made it a point to help prepare their students for college life in general, not just their specific courses.

Read more about the Faculty Learning Community and Chris Saunders’ participation in the Boise State News article from January 19.