The Student Academic Resource Center (SARC) Project A+ was one of seven proposals selected for funding by the Undergraduate Education Pilot Projects Program. The purpose of the program is to enhance the quality and efficiency of undergraduate education at UCF. A total of 36 proposals were reviewed by a committee of Pegasus Professors, Faculty Senate chairs, and a Student Government Association representative.

The purpose of Project A+ is to increase the retention and persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors by providing Supplemental Instruction (SI) in 13 different gateway courses. These subject areas include: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, physical science, physics for engineers, statics, dynamics, pre-calculus, statistics, C Programming and calculus, and trigonometry. Funding of this project will triple the number of SI sections available to support student success at UCF. SI is a proven retention program that was established at UCF in 1996 which targets difficult classes, mostly science. SI sessions are study groups led by a peer SI leader, where students review class notes, discuss lecture material, solve problems, learn organizational strategies, and prepare for exams, all in an informal environment. Students who attend SI sessions on a regular basis average one letter grade higher than those who do not participate.

“Our assessment results have demonstrated that SI works well in improving academic success in science courses,” said Ana Mack, coordinator, Supplemental Instruction, SARC. “This is because SI sessions promote active learning and encourage the development of cognitive skills and learning strategies essential for learning at a college level. Expanding SI in historically difficult STEM courses will benefit many students in these disciplines.”

This increase in academic support will greatly impact the academic performance and retention of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. The proposal will be funded for three years.

The Student Academic Resource Center is an office in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.