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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

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The sciences at Brandeis: Why we must do better

An open letter to the Division of Science: About one month before the world changed, still in the midst of my final semester as a student and as the Division’s first Lead Undergraduate Departmental Representative, an associate dean had emailed me in regards to a workshop she attended about efforts to reform undergraduate STEM education, hosted by the Association of American Universities. The initiative is driven by a mission to improve the quality of instruction in science courses and to enhance student retention in STEM fields. Drawing experts from the many niches of higher education, the workshop saw educators from a Midwestern flagship university present the results of an exercise in which students responded to the following prompt:  Take some time to reflect on some of the concerns you may have about taking [introductory biology]. What do you think will be difficult or challenging for you? These concerns may be about course content, navigating resources, working in groups, interacting with your TA or professor, and so on.


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