Response from Dr. Robert Millette
The Faculty Development Grant, especially my research on retention and graduation rates, has helped me to:
1. Help students to see relationships between the classroom and the community. My lectures, therefore, have become more pointed, student centered and academically challenging.
2. Lectures, examinations and research papers require that students seek to become more engaged and community minded.
3. Getting students to read and study is a major challenge, especially in my upper division courses. In this regard, I am using oral quizzes as a means to encourage students to read. Last Thursday, March 11, 2010, I was pleased to see that students did read and study the assigned chapters. I plan to carefully examine this approach for the rest of the semester. I might even send you a blog with the results and suggestions. I observe that when students are challenged academically, they generally rise to the occasion.
In conclusion, we might also want to get faculty and administration input regarding improving the campus environment. Retention and graduation rates are improved when the campus community is supportive, caring, friendly and academically engaging.