19-22 October 2011
Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA
US/Eastern timezone
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Transforming the undergraduate physics program at Florida International University

21 Oct 2011, 09:00
Crystal Ballroom B (Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA)

Crystal Ballroom B

Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke VA


Renee Michelle Goertzen (Florida International University)


We describe the ongoing physics transformation underway at Florida International University (FIU), highlighting activities that target institutionalization of innovative physics practices. We report on several coherent efforts to improve the undergraduate physics instruction at FIU. These programs include Modeling Instruction, a studio based, integrated lab-lecture course in which students learn by building, validating, and extending models; the Learning Assistant program, an experiential program that recruits top students into teaching careers and provides a vehicle for classroom reform; and reformed curricula in laboratory sections. These reforms have contributed to a 1500% increase in the number of graduates (comparing current three-year averages to the early 1990's), while FIU's undergraduate enrollment grew 180%. Our results are most compelling, as FIU is a minority-serving urban public research institution in Miami, Florida, serving over 44,000 students, of which 64% are Hispanic, 13% are Black, and 56% are women.

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