The Pilot Project is a joint venture that includes the Mathematics Department; the Department of English, Literature, and World Languages; and Retention and Student Success. The project is part of a long-range study to determine the effect on student retention of a cohort experience delivered in an inquiry-based format with a focus on mindset and motivation.
Student participants take English composition, reading and mathematics together as a group. The instructors work as a team to connect these courses according to applicability, professionalism and attitude. Although each course represents a different discipline, one of the goals of each course is to show how each subject is applicable in the real world. Given the University's career focus, the instructors promote professional conduct and expect accountability. In their course designs, the instructors build a classroom climate that supports lifelong learning.
Each of the courses is taught using an inquiry-based format to build a strong learning community. The goal of the project is to develop a scalable version of this experience that will be available to other qualified students, as well as to conduct research on the effect of these types of instructional interventions on student progress.