Monday, April 25, 2011

Supplementary courses help A&P students succeed

A few years ago, we brainstormed about what else we could do as A&P professors to help our students succeed.  We realized that the two most common things holding our students back from reaching their full potential were:
  1. Lack of adequate preparation to begin A&P on a solid footing
  2. Lack of basic learning and study skills 
With the typical A&P course involving an unrelenting flood of facts, concepts, and applications, a lack of preparation and study skills can be catastrophic.

To address the lack of preparation, we have a prerequisite of "C or better in high school biology or its equivalent within the last five years."  That's the best we could manage given the constraints of our institution and its programs.  But even with the most stringent prerequisites, it's rare that students really walk into an A&P class ready with a comfortable foundation in biological chemistry and cell biology.

So I developed a refresher course that incoming A&P students could take just before entering their A&P 1 course.  Foundations in Science for Health Careers is a developmental level, one-hour course that is offered in a completely online self-paced format.  We offer it only during the short mini-mesters and half-semesters.

The Foundations course covers the basic chemistry and biology concepts students need as they begin A&P.

To address the lack of study skills, I developed a one-credit course for our A&P 1 students to take along with A&P 1.  Having been given the idea of a supplemental course by my friend Mari Hopper at Southern Indiana University, we began offering A&P 1 Supplement at our institution.

This course parallels the A&P 1 course, giving students how-to tips on specific study skills useful in A&P.  Students also have the opportunity to bring their sticking points to the class to get help in getting them unstuck.

The Foundations course is the refresher course and the Supplement course is the shortcut course.

Want to know more? 

Check out my video . . .

Viewing this content requires Silverlight. You can download Silverlight from

Then check out the handout and helpful links at The A&P Professor website:

SEMINAR: Helping Students Succeed

Do these courses work?  We're still working on the statistics, but as the above presentations tell you, student feedback from anonymous surveys show that students are happy with what they are getting from these courses.  When we get some statistical analysis done, I'll let you know!
[NOTE: If your students would like to take our online pre-A&P refresher course (BIO 095 Foundations in Science for Health Careers) prior to taking your A&P course, they can enroll at St. Charles Community College during either of two 5-wk summer sessions or during either of two 1-wk pre-fall sessions . . . or beyond.]

No comments:

Post a Comment