Mighty Mentoring: At UCSB, a three-pronged approach to retaining biology majors has met with success
Like many first-year biology majors, Mirna Aparicio came to UC Santa Barbara with the goal of becoming a doctor. What she didn’t anticipate was how different university courses were from those she took in high school. She found help honing her study skills through an innovative program at UCSB designed to increase the success and retention of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. Funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the BioMentors program aims to change the freshman and sophomore experience for undergraduate biology majors. And it has been very successful, particularly among underperforming, first-generation and underrepresented minority (URM) students.