Chemistry Department
Hunter College CUNY¹
New York, New York
Skirball Science Learning Center
Hunter College CUNY²
New York, New York
Department of Curriculum and Teaching
Hunter College CUNY³
New York, New York

FRESH – A New Model for Retention of 1st-Year Students Enrolled in First Year STEM Courses at an Urban Public HSI

Hunter College is a diverse, urban, Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) located in New York City. While many Hispanic students are interested in the STEM fields of biology and chemistry at Hunter, disproportionately few Hispanic students persist and graduate in these majors due to challenges in their first year STEM gateway courses.
First year General Chemistry course at Hunter College is a high impact course for STEM majors with a large enrollment of ~850 students each semester and it is a gatekeeper course for first-year college students. Although our institution is not alone in this challenge, we have prioritized implementing interventional strategies to improve equity and reduce gaps first to second year retention in STEM disciplines at Hunter College Project FRESH (First-year Retention & Equity in STEM at Hunter). This project aims to transform first-year STEM education using high-impact practice such as Summer and Winter Bridge Programs, one to one first year STEM advising, STEM Saturdays and FRESH Fridays, for incoming freshmen enrolled in 1st year STEM lecture courses and laboratories.

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