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  1. Concern about graduation rates in higher education has led universities to offer courses that help students develop success skills. Scientist Life Skills, a new course for freshman at Florida A&M University, focuses on helping students matriculate into majors via development of growth mindset, grit, and critical thinking. Here, we assessed the outcomes of this course and explored the associations between building life skills and student success. A series of mindset, grit, and critical-thinking assessment measures were used to collect data before and after the course. Our results showed that the new course achieved its intended goals of providing STEM studentsmore »with a set of tools that help them seamlessly transition into the university and successfully matriculate through their majors. Specifically, the course design significantly moved students toward a growth-mindset, increased their critical thinking, and their second-semester grade point averages (GPAs). This model life skills course can be adopted in non-STEM areas as well.« less
  2. A report summarizing the “Keeping Data Science Broad” series including data science challenges, visions for the future, and community asks. The goal of the Keeping Data Science Broad series was to garner community input into pathways for keeping data science education broadly inclusive across sectors, institutions, and populations. Input was collected from a community input survey, three webinars (Data Science in the Traditional Context, Alternative Avenues for Development of Data Science Education Capacity, and Big Picture for a Big Data Science Education Network available to view through the South Big Data Hub YouTube channel) and an interactive workshop (Negotiating themore »Digital and Data Divide). Through these venues, we explore the future of data science education and workforce at institutions of higher learning that are primarily teaching-focused. The workshop included representatives from sixty data science programs across the nation, either traditional or alternative, and from a range of institution types including community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI’s), other minority-led and minority-serving institutions, liberal arts colleges, tribal colleges, universities, and industry partners.« less