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Starting from scratch: RIT program teaches first-year students how to learn
Date:10/19/2013

Starting college on the right footand in the right frame of mindcan make the difference between completing a bachelor's degree and dropping out in the first or second year of school.

Rochester Institute of Technology is launching a $900,000 National Science Foundation-funded program to improve the retention of deaf, hard-of-hearing and first-generation undergraduates majoring in science, engineering and computer science. Between five and 10 percent of RIT's students are deaf or hard of hearing. Many attend the National Technical Institute for the Deaf or receive support servicessuch as interpreting and notetakingfrom NTID while enrolled in one of RIT's other eight colleges.

RIT's Project IMPRESS (Integrating Metacognitive Processes and Research to Ensure Student Success) seeks to teach students self-reflection and self-assessment skillskey components of metacognition, or thinking about how one thinks and learns.

"We know that all studentsnot just our target populationoverestimate their understanding," says Scott Franklin, professor in RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy. "Helping students see reflection, assessment and metacognition as a fundamental part of how they learn can make a huge impact on their success."

The program will hold a two-week summer experience in August 2014 for 20 incoming students. The cohort will take a new general education course during the fall and spring semesters focusing on STEM metacognition. In the second year, the students will become learning assistants in a stand-alone program RIT's College of Science launched this fall to give students teaching experience.

"The explicit goal of this grant is to increase the number of deaf, hard-of-hearing and first-generation college students who successfully make it to their third year," Franklin says. "Because once they make it to their third year, chances that they'll make it through all four years are pretty good. The real drop-off occurs betw
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Contact: Susan Gawlowicz
smguns@rit.edu
585-475-5061
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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