PEERS, the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences, is an intensive academic support program for underrepresented and life-challenged students in the sciences. Founded in 2004 by Physics professor Charles Buchannan and Chemistry professor Dick Weiss, PEERS promotes academic excellence and high retention among STEM fields among a student population where retention in STEM disciplines is typically below 50%. PEERS serves approximately 150 freshman and sophomores Life and Physical Sciences majors each year.
PEERS Program Goals
Development of study skills promoting achievement in math and science courses
Promoting interest and commitment to careers in research, teaching, or health fields
Encouraging and preparing students for undergraduate research
Fostering a sense of community among STEM majors at UCLA
5 Pillars of PEERS
To achieve these goals, there are 5 Pillars of PEERS
Freshman and Sophomore seminars that focus on academic survival skills and professional preparation, respectively
Collaborative learning workshops that complement their core science curriculum that develops students problem solving abilities
Holistic academic counseling by counselors that understand the background of PEERS students and work with students personal goals
Research talks by UCLA faculty that introduce students to the diversity of STEM research at UCLA
Preparing students to engage in undergraduate research
Benefits of PEERS
Comparison of PEERS students to a matched control group indicate that PEERS promotes increased academic success leading to higher retention. Specifically,
PEERS students take more science courses than non-PEERS STEM students
PEERS students get higher grades in their core STEM science courses
PEERS students have GPAs that are approximately 0.2 points higher than non-PEERS STEM students
PEERS students have a STEM retention rate of nearly 90%.
Keys to Success of PEERS
Funding to support the staff and educators to run PEERS
A team of staff and educators that understands the components of PEERS and are committed to the goals of the program
A team of staff and educators that works together to provide students a consistent message regarding PEERS and its program activities
Rigorous assessment to document the benefits of the PEERS program.
The Need for PEERS: Closing the Achievement Gap
In recent decades, while there has been an increase in the absolute number of undergraduate STEM majors, STEM majors are decreasing as an overall percentage of the undergraduate population. This decline is occurring even while growth in STEM jobs outpaces other employment sectors (NSB 2010). Retention of STEM majors has become a significant problem in all STEM fields, including the life sciences (OECD 2006). Studies show that lack of retention in STEM fields is not a function of ability or motivation. Instead, students indicate that a key reason for leaving STEM majors was the loss of interest in the subject, and feeling overwhelmed by demanding courses (Seymour & Hewitt 1997)—courses that largely focus on memorizing large numbers of facts, rather than developing conceptual understanding (Cooke et al 2006). These problems are exacerbated by the fact that “young people have only a vague idea, often stereotyped, of what S&T professionals are” (OECD 2006). The American Academy for the Advancement of Science (2009) and National Research Council (2003) indicate that poor STEM retention is an impediment to the advancement of science in the U.S. and is resulting in a shortage of scientists and engineers (Bracey 2008), impacting the ability for science in the U.S. to maintain its competitiveness (Hira 2010).
Retention of Underrepresented Students in STEM
Although student retention is a major concern across all STEM fields, STEM retention rates are particularly alarming among underrepresented minority undergraduates. For example, while underrepresented minority students entering U.S. colleges are just as likely as their white peers to choose a STEM major, within six years, only 41.8% of African American and 48.6% of Hispanic students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, in comparison to 69.3% and 77.4% for Caucasian and Asian students, respectively (Koenig 2009). At UCLA, only 51% of Hispanic students who declared as a STEM major as an entering freshman in 2004 graduated with a STEM degree by 2010 as compared to 70% for Caucasian and Asian students. This troubling figure is even lower for African American (38%) and Native American students (0%). This pattern translates into low numbers of underrepresented minorities in STEM jobs (NSB 2007), perpetuation the perception among underrepresented groups that careers in science are not open to them.
To improve undergraduate STEM education and retention, in 2009 the American Academy for the Advancement of Science published a report entitled “Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education”. Outlined in this report are a number of key recommendations:
Integrating core concepts across the biology curriculum
Using tangible real world examples to promote understanding of abstract concepts*
Examining fewer concepts in greater depth*
Stimulating the students’ natural curiosity*
Developing the ability of the student to learn*
Towards this end the “Vision and Change” report suggests that the modern biology curriculum focus on student-centered learning where students:
Are engaged as active participants*
Learn in a cooperative context*
Take courses that are “outcome oriented, inquiry driven, and relevant”
Engage multiple learning modalities*
Although PEERS was not developed in response to the Vision and Change report, PEERS as a program touches on many of these issues (marked with *). In particular, many of these aims are achieved through Collaborative Learning Workshops, one of the core activities of PEERS.
Uri Treisman developed a collaborative learning method (Excel workshops) focused on improving performance of African American students in Calculus (Fullilove and Treisman 1990). As such, early use of collaborative learning workshops was focused in mathematics, although this method has now been extended to other science disciplines such as physics, chemistry and biology (Nocera et al. 1996; Wright 2002). Studies have since shown that students engaged in collaborative learning perform significantly better than their peers (DeAngelo & Hasson 2009; Duncan & Dick 2000; Nocera et al. 1996). However, this method can be challenging to implement in some subjects.
Overview of the Treisman Model
Note: Text used courtesy of Dr. Jim Lisy, University of Illinois MIST program
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, graduate student Uri Treisman at the University of California, Berkeley, was working on the problem of high failure rates of minority students in undergraduate calculus courses. According to Treisman (1985), the African-American calculus students at Berkeley “were valedictorians and leaders of church youth groups, individuals who were the pride of their communities. … Thus, these students had come to Berkeley highly motivated and under great pressure to succeed” (p. 21). Nevertheless, folklore blamed the high failure rates on the students’ lack of motivation, lack of educational background, and lack of family emphasis on education (Treisman, 1992). Treisman’s work (Treisman, 1985) challenged these hypotheses, and replaced the remedial approaches with an honors program that encouraged students to collaborate on challenging problems in an environment of high expectations (Conciatore, 1990).
Treisman’s mathematics workshop recruited mostly African-American and Latino students having relatively high SAT Mathematics scores or intending to major in a mathematics-based field or both. Key elements of the workshop involved:
the focus on helping minority students to excel at the University, rather than merely to avoid failure;
the emphasis on collaborative learning and the use of small-group teaching methods; and the faculty sponsorship, which has both nourished the program and enabled it to survive. (Treisman, 1985, pp. 3031)
Each of these elements is discussed in more detail below.
As described by Gillman (1990), the program at Berkeley;
“is an intensive, demanding program for talented students, particularly minority students, who are planning career[s] in mathematics-based profession[s]. … They are told that they are among the most promising freshmen and that the program is seeking students with a deep commitment to excellence. … The emphasis is on students’ strengths rather than their weaknesses … the direct opposite of tutoring or other remedial programs. (p. 8)”
The resulting model replaces regular calculus discussion sections with workshop-style discussion sections, in which the students collaborate on non-textbook, non-routine problems. During these work sessions (which meet for larger blocks of time than traditional classes), “[students] begin working the problems individually, then, when things get tough, in collaboration with one another. These experiences lead to a strong sense of community and the forging of lasting friendships” (Gillman, 1990, p. 8).
The Berkeley program has been so successful that it has spread to other universities and colleges throughout the country. Modified versions have entered high schools, in forms designed to fit the particular environment and needs. As Treisman has stressed, the program is not remedial nor should it be and care is taken with replications that they do not revert to remedial programs.
In his initial investigation, Treisman “was struck by the sharp separation that most black students maintained regardless of class or educational background between their school lives and their social lives” (Treisman, 1985, p. 12). He went on to compare these students with their Asian counterparts who had a history of being very successful in the calculus courses noting that most of the black students studied alone while the Asian students sought peers with whom to collaborate. More than merely studying together, the Asian students formed academic communities:
Composed of students with shared purpose, the informal study groups of Chinese freshmen enabled their members not only to share mathematical knowledge but also to “check out” their understanding of what was being required of them by their professors and, more generally, by the University.
[Treisman] observed Chinese students in their study groups ask each other questions ranging from whether one was permitted to write in pencil on a test to how one might circumvent certain University financial aid regulations. More important was the fact that these students routinely critiqued each other’s work, assisted each other with homework problems, and shared all manner of information related to their common interests. Their collaboration provided them with valuable information that guided their day-to-day study. (Treisman, 1985, pp. 13-14)
Since “interactions like these were extremely rare among the blacks” (Treisman, 1985, p. 16), the key then was to build a community based in the study of mathematics, to create a merging rather than a separation of academic and social lives.
Challenging mathematics and high expectations In partnership with collaborative learning strategies, the mathematics employed was challenging, engaging, and meaningful. Treisman (1985) explained, Because of their participation in [a special high school program], these students saw themselves as an academic elite group. They were accustomed to being the tutors, not the ones in need of tutoring… Knowing the students’ sensitivities, [he] took care that the Workshop not appear to be a tutoring session. The problem sets (called worksheets) were always difficult, with near-impossible problems thrown in frequently to protect the Workshop’s non-remedial veneer. (p. 26)
While “most visitors to the program thought that the heart of our project was group learning … the real core was the problem sets which drove the group interaction” (Treisman, 1992, p. 368). The best problems were not quick, procedural applications of formulas that had one right answer; rather they were deep, thought-inspiring problems (perhaps with multiple parts) that engrossed the students. Where remediation approaches worked to reduce deficiencies, Treisman’s model built on the students’ already existing strengths.
Critical to the success of the Berkeley program was the faculty sponsorship aspect. “The traditional faculty response to minority students at that time was to hire someone to deal with them, create tutorial programs for them, and house them in a temporary building on campus somewhere” (NSF, 1991, p. 4). By contrast, in the mathematics workshop model, “the significant points were to build a community around the courses and manage the courses by faculty, not tutors in temporary buildings” (NSF, 1991, p. 7). Furthermore, the faculty courted students, and students quickly chose mathematics as a major” (NSF, 1991, p. 6).
Who are PEERS Students?
An important aspect of the success of PEERS is understanding the background of PEERS students. Due to constraints placed on university admissions by Prop 209, the University of California adopted the use of “Life Challenge Scores” as one metric evaluated in undergraduate admissions. These scores do not incorporate racial information, but instead are designed to “give the reader an opportunity to evaluate a wide range of individual circumstances concerning challenges overcome by the students in achieving their academic goals” (CUARS 2001-2002 Annual Report). Life challenges can include:
Being a first generation college student
Having parents with limited education
Living in a single parent household
Being economically disadvantaged
Coming from a high school ranked in the lower 25th percentile
Life challenge scores range from 0-12, where 12 is the highest level of life challenges. The average life challenge score of a PEERS student is about 6, whereas the average UCLA student has a life challenge score of 2. Despite these significant life challenges, PEERS students are very smart. They have very impressive high school GPAs (average 4.14.2) and strong SAT scores.
Because the life challenges used to calculate life challenge scores are frequently correlated with racial identity in the U.S., an average of 70-80% of PEERS students come from underrepresented minority groups. This means that facilitators need to be particularly sensitive to racial, financial, and family issues. Furthermore, many of the communities that these students come from will not understand the value of studying science. There can be significant pressure on these students to exclusively pursue stable and lucrative fields like medicine or law. It is important that members of the PEERS community help educate and empower PEERS students to make informed choices, and support them when making choices that challenge their cultural norms.
**Because a high percentage of PEERS students come from underrepresented minority groups, all PEERS workshop facilitators must complete diversity training.
On average 70-80% of PEERS students are first generation college students. This means that they do not have the same academic support structures enjoyed by other students. While providing this academic support is a major goal of the Freshman seminar and specialized academic counseling, it is critical for workshop facilitators to understand this challenge and work with students to develop the academic coping skills required to succeed. It also means that we must help educate students to career options available to scientists, as the only “scientist” that many will have ever met is their physician.
On average 60-65% of PEERS students are female. This means that workshop facilitators need to be particularly sensitive to gender issues. Furthermore, it is important to understand that many of the female students may be looked upon by their families to play a significant caregiver role. Many cultures can discourage women from pursuing an education, particularly in science. It is important to support and empower our women students to make informed choices with their education.
**Campus policies and the demographics of PEERS students require that Workshop Facilitators complete sexual harassment training.
On average 65% of PEERS students are in Life Science Majors. While this number mirrors the percentage of Life and Physical Science majors that apply to PEERS, this imbalance in focus is important to understand for 2 reasons. First, many of these students are life science majors because they are pursuing medicine as a career goal. However, this is generally because this is the only science field they have been exposed to. It is important to talk about a diversity of science disciplines and draw on examples that challenge students to see science as broader than medical science. Second, with fewer Physical Science majors, these students can sometimes feel isolated or marginalized. It’s important to ensure that both Physical and Life Science students feel like valuable members of the PEERS community.
PEERS students are exceptionally diverse. A summary of demographic statistics from admitted PEERS students from 2011-2013 can be seen here:
Overview of Facilitator Responsibilities
The students taking lower-division science courses come from a variety of backgrounds. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have students who have had little or no prior subject experience competing against students who’ve had top-rate instruction.
It is the mission of the PEERS workshops to level the playing field– not by remedial action, but rather by challenging the participants in the program to acquire a deeper understanding of the course material than they would have obtained from lecture alone.
The workshops achieve this by fostering an environment of collaborative, coordinated meandering. Participants work together in small groups on difficult, interesting problems designed by the facilitators to emphasize and illuminate important aspects of the material under discussion. While it is inevitable that some instruction will (and usually should) take place within the workshop environment, workshop leaders should bear in mind that in the collaborative environment, their role is not to teach but rather to facilitate the group learning process to this end, we will not refer to the role of the workshop leader as “leader”, “TA” or anything comparable, but rather as “facilitator”. Facilitators direct discussion and provide mentoring for the participants, but ideally the students work through the problems on their own, picking up along the way a sense of what the problem means and how it fits into the greater scheme of things.
Value of the Workshops
Among other things, PEERS is a controlled study to determine the effectiveness of our program in improving academic success and persistence in STEM majors. The Collaborative Learning Workshops are a major component of increasing academic success. Comparing PEERS students who take the workshops to an identical control group that does not shows that PEERS students get significantly higher grades in their core science courses. Not only are these difference statistically significant, but they are substantial with PEERS students earning grades a half grade point higher in individual classes. This improved academic performance results in PEERS students having an overall GPA that is 0.2 pts higher, on average, than the matched control group. As a result of performing better in science courses, PEERS students take more science courses, stay in science majors and graduate more quickly than students in the control group. The manuscript documenting these impacts is currently under preparation.
**It is essential that Facilitators reinforce the value of the workshops to the students so that student buy into the workshop model.
Facilitators are responsible for creating a welcoming and engaging learning environment where students feel comfortable and their ideas are valued.
Facilitators are responsible for attending or otherwise following the progress of the courses that form the foundation of the workshops. It is critical that content presented in the workshop is in sync with the lecture materials.
Facilitators are responsible for developing pedagogical materials (e.g. problem sets and solution sheets) to facilitate collaborative learning.
Facilitators are responsible for making sure workshop meet the needs of the participants. Facilitators provide direction for discussion, introduce new material, they are the primary providers of worksheets. Facilitators may set up office hours for consultation with workshop participants.
Facilitators are expected to attend the weekly facilitator meetings to discuss progress, successes and setbacks in workshops.
Facilitators are required to attend special PEERS functions such as the welcome reception, research talks and dinners, talks, etc.
Participation in PEERS, and access to the many benefits it provides is contingent upon participating in PEERS activities, including the collaborative learning workshops. Taking attendance is mandatory and sign-in sheets must be brought to the weekly facilitator meeting.
Students may have no more than four absences per workshop per quarter. If a student finishes the quarter with more than four absences in a workshop, they will receive an NP for the workshop. Facilitators should inform the PEERS counselors and administrative staff of any student who is not attending workshops regularly so that an intervention can occur.
While it is the student’s responsibility to make sure they sign in to each shop they attend, the facilitator should make a point of reminding them that it is their responsibility to do so.
Facilitators are required to furnish PEERS with a copy of every worksheet they use in their workshop, along with a copy of the solutions for each of these worksheets. Please bring these copies to the weekly facilitator meeting.
Facilitators must provided students with copies of worksheet solutions at the end of class.
Running an Effective Workshop
Recommendations and Requirements
It is strongly recommended, where it is feasible and the professor is amenable, that the facilitator meet with the professor teaching the lecture section his or her PEERS students are enrolled in at the beginning of the term and, possibly, at regular intervals during the term. If possible, and again, contingent on the professor’s willingness to provide it, it would be a good idea to get a copy of the course syllabus and whatever other supplemental materials the professor would be willing to provide.
It is strongly recommended that the facilitator start each workshop off with about 5-10 minutes of open discussion with the students. The facilitator should use the opportunity to find out what is happening in class, how the students are doing, if there’s any course-related material the students are struggling with, and so on. The information gleaned can and should be used to keep the workshop synchronized with lecture and better meet the needs of the students.
It is strongly recommended that workshop facilitators be flexible and plan for contingencies. There are certainly times when a lecture might head in some unanticipated direction facilitators should be ready to improvise and accommodate the students where their need lies.
Facilitators are required to provide their students with copies of the worksheet solutions in a timely and relevant manner. This may be done with physical hard-copy, or in electronic form by way of email and/or a web page. If the solutions are distributed electronically, the facilitator must periodically remind the students how to access them, and in the case of email keep updated email lists and check to make sure all the students are receiving the solutions.
Facilitators are required to provide the workshop coordinator with physical hard-copy of their worksheets and solutions. These should be turned in to the workshop coordinator at the weekly facilitator meetings.
Worksheets and the Collaborative Process
Worksheet styles: For the most part, the worksheet style is determined by discipline. In Physics, one problem per worksheet works real well. In Math, typically, multi-page packets with lots of problems work well. Chemistry is usually somewhere in-between. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but, by the same token, don’t put all your eggs in an untested basket be ready to revert to a proven format if/when things don’t go as expected.
Difficulty: While challenging problems have their place, that place is generally not at the beginning of the shop. Facilitators are advised to start things off with a set of icebreaker/review problems. This will provide students with subject-related material they can and will discuss. Once they are effectively collaborating, the facilitator can sneak in the more interesting and challenging problems…
“Think, Pair, Share”: When students first begin to work on a worksheet, they should (ideally) be in groups of four to five. Expect the first few minutes to be pretty quiet it takes time to read the problem, comprehend it and set it up (“Think”). As students reach that point, the facilitator should encourage them to begin to share their ideas with other members of the group (“Pair”), and as a group, the students should begin to triangulate on a solution (under the guidance of the facilitator) (“Share”). It is not uncommon for groups to begin to collaborate with one another (meta” Share”? ), but a facilitator probably shouldn’t allow super-groups to form until and unless the individual groups have reached a point where it is productive and makes sense to do so.
There is an art to the facilitator’s role, and, while pedagogical talent is important, there is an intuitive component that is critically important to pulling off the perfect workshop. New facilitators can expect to struggle with this for a while the weekly facilitator meetings, in addition to everything else they do, provide a venue in which to flesh some of this out, to learn from the collective knowledge/intuition gained over the years by the rest of the crew. New facilitators are grafted as much as drafted.
A new facilitator may be helped along in pursuit of that intuition if they learn to visualize some of what they do in terms of tunable parameters. The following spaces are initially the most important:
Instruction: On one end of the scale (call this ’10’), we have the lecture. On the other (call this ‘-3’), we have ‘answer-a-question-with-a-question’. Students will always claim they love being lectured to and they probably do. But the workshops endeavor to replace passive ‘learning’ with active ownership- lectures are counterproductive to the whole process. Students universally despise ‘answer-a-question-with-a-question’ done poorly, it is obnoxious and sets up an adversarial relationship between the students and the facilitator. It’s tolerable for TA office hours, but not in an environment where the students and facilitator are trying to establish a learning community. Where on the scale should a good facilitator be? It depends a little on the discipline. For Math, 0 works very well; Chemistry, somewhere around 2; for Physics, err on the side of 3, but given the nature of the material, settle for 4 if it works.
Interaction: On one end of the scale (call this ‘0’), we have total disengagement. On the other (call this ’10’), we have ‘hovering’. Interestingly enough, there are those who subscribe to 0 as being good policy- give the students a packet of problems, then go hide behind a desk and force them to work through them on their own. There is a method in the madness and this can work, but if it leads to the impression that the facilitator is not an active part of the learning community, it is generally not a good thing. Students generally despise ’hovering’- circulating through the room, touching base with each of the work groups, socializing a bit, creating a sense of community is good- standing behind a group, staring at them while they work, not offering anything constructive… that’s not. Here, years of experience point to somewhere around 4 or 5 the facilitator as an active guide.
Group Dynamics: The first few minutes of any collaborative exercise is going to be pretty quiet. Students need time to internalize the task at hand. But things shouldn’t stay quiet for too long. If ‘0’ is dead-silence and ’10’ over-caffeinated boisterousness, a facilitator should probably aim for a relatively quick transition from 0 to about 3, and longer transition from 3 to about 7. If the groups get to 8 or 9, it’s probably past time to move on. This, of course, will depend on the particular problem, the particular students and the pedagogical aims of the exercise. The idea is to facilitate constructive, useful interaction without letting things get out of hand.
Group Polarization: There is a lot to be said for allowing students to group up with friends and others they are comfortable with. Having said that, this inevitably leads to polarization along one line or another- gender, ethnicity, ability… The facilitator should watch for this often, it is innocuous, sometimes it can be toxic- and be ready with some creative regrouping strategies, when/if they are needed. New facilitators would be well-advised to consult with the more experienced facilitators at the weekly meeting for advice.
Individual Pathologies: It will happen. In all but the rarest workshops there will inevitably be a student that stands out- perhaps they refuse to engage with the others, maybe they’re borderline hostile, or they’ve decided to appoint themselves spokesperson for everything ‘no one else will say’. This should be brought up at the weekly facilitator meeting as soon as it arises. Chances are, if it’s an issue for one facilitator, it’s an issue for every facilitator who has that student. A coordinated approach, along with the collective wisdom of the rest of the facilitating community can go a long way.
Conduct and Discipline
Working with PEERS students requires training above and beyond that required of Teaching Assistants. In particular, PEERS workshop facilitators must
Sexual Harassment training
These trainings must be completed and documented on a yearly basis.
While PEERS workshop facilitators are tutors, and not TAs, much useful guidance comes from the UCLA TA Handbook, quoted below:
Apprentice personnel are bound by the ethical precepts of the academic profession and are subject to university policy that establishes their institutional obligations. Violations constitute the basis for disciplinary action, subject to the procedural safeguards outlined in Policies and Procedures for Academic Apprentice Personnel. As a TA, if you observe or hear of incidents of harassment or intimidation, please contact one of the Harassment Information Centers listed at the end of this section.
The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable student records, which includes homework, examinations, term papers, etc., whether graded or ungraded. When such records are personally identifiable by name, initials, name abbreviation, or a number that is known to others, the records must be maintained in confidence unless the faculty member, instructor, TA, or other university employee has the express consent of each student to treat the records in a non-confidential way. A student number and/or a social security number are considered personal identifiers. When such records are ready for disposal, they should not be placed where others might peruse them. They should be disposed of in a manner that maintains student confidentiality. Please see Appendix IX of the Faculty Handbook for more information.
The University is committed to a community of diversity. A community of diversity can be said to exist when differences are understood, respected, and appreciated. Teaching assistants are expected to foster understanding of the diverse elements of the University community. TAs should neither engage in, nor have to tolerate, prejudicial attitudes toward, race, national origin, religion, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, or sexual orientation. The following is an excerpt from an article written by former Chancellor Albert Carnesale for the Daily Bruin on November 3, 1998:
For more than three decades, UCLA and the University of California have worked diligently toward ensuring that the student body of our state’s great public university system mirrors the ethnic and cultural diversity of California itself. Commendable progress was made; UCLA and her sister campuses take pride in their role of preparing leaders from and for all segments of our society, not just a chosen few.
Although it is one of UCLA’s most cherished hallmarks, we do not seek diversity for diversity’s sake. Students learn not only from their professors but also from each other, and they benefit most when their classmates reflect many different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. UCLA has proven conclusively that academic excellence and diversity are compatible and, in fact, mutually reinforcing.
Sexual Harrassment and Gender Discrimination
Students may be discouraged, angered, or confused by sexist or homophobic attitudes communicated in the classroom setting. These feelings are not conducive to a good learning experience; sexist and homophobic behavior by faculty or other students can undermine self-confidence and foster feelings of helplessness or marginality. No instructor should treat students differently on account of their sex or their orientation, for example, by:
Making comments that disparage any particular sex or orientation in general, their intellectual ability, or academic commitment
Diverting discussion of a student’s work toward a discussion of his or her physical appearance
Relying on sexist or bigoted humor as a classroom device
Making eye contact more often with one or the other sex
Nodding and gesturing more often in response to questions and comments from one sex rather than the other
Interrupting one sex more often
Addressing the class as if only one sex were present Calling students of one sex by name more often than students of the other sex
Phrasing classroom examples in a way that reinforces stereotyped and negative views
Using classroom examples, which reflect stereotyped ideas about social and professional roles
Making direct sexual overtures
The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, administrative and academic staff can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including those of a sexual nature. Specifically, every member of the UCLA community should be aware that the University is strongly opposed to sexual harassment and that such behavior is prohibited both by law and by University policy. It is the intention of the University to take whatever action needed to prevent, correct and, if necessary, discipline behavior which violates this policy.
Sexual harassment is defined, for purposes of this policy, as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The following constitutes sexual harassment:
Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in other University activities.
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individualâ™s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, consideration should be given to the record as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
Complaints of sexual harassment may be effectively resolved through informal intervention. Alternatively, a complainant may discuss the matter initially with the alleged offender’s supervisor or department chair. Complainants are not, in any case, required to participate in informal counseling before filing a formal complaint. A complainant can also contact the Sexual Harassment Office for information at 310-206-3417, 2241 Murphy Hall. Other information is available at www.sexualharassment.ucla.edu.
A complainant who wishes information or confidential assistance regarding options for addressing harassment may visit or contact the Campus Ombuds Office at Strathmore Building, Suite 105, 310-825-7627, www.ombuds.ucla.edu. The ombudspersons are neutral, independent, informal complaint-handlers. They listen, offer information about University policies and procedures, help identify ways to address fears of retaliation, and assist in learning how to deal with a problem directly on their own. The ombudspersons may serve as mediators or shuttle diplomats, and may also help bring problems to the attention of appropriate administrators if there is permission and agreement between the complainant and the ombudsperson that this might be helpful. The Ombuds Office may also be of help in informing the individual about other campus resources that might provide assistance. Finally, the Ombuds Office can inform the complainant of ways to initiate a formal grievance procedure.
Copies of the various formal procedures for consideration of complaints of sexual harassment may be obtained from departmental offices, the Ombuds Office, and the Campus Counselor’s Office at 3149 Murphy Hall, 310-206-6985. Also, refer to Article 19 of the contract about non-discrimination in employment and sexual harassment.
As mentors, leaders, facilitators, you are role models. You are expected to set an example and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. The following excerpts from the Student Guide to Academic Integrity can serve as a guide:
Forms of Academic Dishonesty
As specified by University policy, violations or attempted violations of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, multiple submissions, or facilitating academic dishonesty (See University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students, 102.01).
– the failure to observe the expressed procedures of an academic exercise, including but not limited to:
Unauthorized acquisition of knowledge of an examination or part of an examination
Allowing another person to take a quiz, exam, or similar evaluation for you
Using unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise or examination â“ textbook, notes, formula list, calculator, etc.
Unauthorized collaboration in providing or requesting assistance, such as sharing information on an academic exercise
Unauthorized use of another person’s data in completing a computer exercise
Altering a graded exam or assignment and requesting that it be re-graded
– falsification or invention of any information in an academic exercise, including but not limited to:
Altering data to support research
Presenting results from research that was not performed
Crediting source material that was not used for research
– the presentation of another’ words or ideas as if they were one’s own, including but not limited to:
Submitting, as your own, through purchase or otherwise, part of or an entire work produced verbatim by someone else
Paraphrasing ideas, data, or writing without properly acknowledging the source
Unauthorized transfer and use of another person’s computer file as your own
Unauthorized use of another person’s data in completing a computer exercise
– re-submission of a work that has already received credit with identical or similar content in another course without consent of the present instructor or submission of work with identical or similar content in concurrent courses without consent of instructors
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
– participating in any action that compromises the integrity of the academic standards of the University; assisting another to commit an act of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to:
Taking a quiz, exam, or similar evaluation in place of another person
Allowing another student to copy from you
Providing material or other information to another student with knowledge that such assistance could be used in any of the violations stated above (e.g., giving test information to students in other discussion section’s of the same course)