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MC Student Kayle Reimer Presents at the National American Chemical Society Conference

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MC Student Kayle Reimer Presents at the National American Chemical Society Conference

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Category: Features

Published: 2019-04-09 00:00:01.000

Dr. Carolyn Schick, Director of Montgomery College's STEM Learning Assistant (LA) Program, and Ms. Kayle Reimer, MC student and Learning Assistant, presented on this innovative embedded-support program at the national American Chemical Society conference in Orlando, Florida, on March 31 and April 1, 2019. Kayle created a poster on her experience as a STEM Learning Assistant at Montgomery College and participated in two separate poster sessions at the conference. Her poster, "Exploring STEM Teaching: Being a Learning Assistant at a Two-Year College", was selected by the Chemical Education Division for inclusion in the prestigious and interdisciplinary Sci-Mix poster session where it garnered a great deal of interest and attention. Kayle also joined Dr. Schick for an invited oral presentation ("Trying on Teaching for Student Success: The Learning Assistant Program at a Two-Year College") that highlighted MC's unique approach in implementing the nationally recognized Learning Assistant model at a 2-year institution. The LA program opens up opportunities to students who are considering a career in a STEM field. In its sixth year at Montgomery College, the LA program has also been very successful as it provides an additional learning resource for students in LA-supported classes, leading to increased academic success, as well as providing a unique teaching and mentoring experience for Learning Assistants early in their academic journeys.

Poster Abstract: Montgomery College, a two-year college, gives students the opportunity to 'try on teaching' in classrooms and laboratories through its STEM Learning Assistant (LA) program. The journey of a Learning Assistant was documented as the LA was immersed in two different chemistry classes over the course of a year. The LA presented lessons and problems in class, worked alongside the professor assisting students in both lecture and discussion, and held study and review sessions outside of class. The LA was supported throughout this experience through one-on-one faculty mentor/LA weekly meetings and by attending pedagogical training events with cohort LAs. The LA encouraged students to articulate and defend their ideas in the classroom and at study sessions, which led to a deeper understanding of the course material as well as increased peer connections. The students benefited from having a Learning Assistant embedded in their class as they saw the LA as a successful peer-model and felt comfortable approaching the LA for assistance. Having completed the course recently, the LA also provided helpful study tips and strategies to the students. Throughout the experience, the LA gained a deeper knowledge of chemistry plus a unique teaching experience, and the students gained a peer who was supportive and helped them to foster a positive attitude toward learning chemistry - all leading to student success and increased interest in STEM teaching for everyone involved.

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