Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Melody Jewell


Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) come with a wide range of experiences and educational backgrounds. There is high attrition rate and low academic achievement among students in STEM areas, specifically in college chemistry courses that are prerequisites for many STEM majors. Hence it is important to look at diversity and inclusion specifically in first- and second-year college chemistry courses to address the challenge of student attrition in STEM. Diversity can be understood as the differences each student brings along the dimensions of prior knowledge, skills, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, age, ability, religious or political beliefs, or other different ideologies that makes students individually unique. The purpose of the DISTL project was to: 1) to understand the current role of student-diversity in various chemistry courses; 2) Gauge instructors understanding of diversity and related teaching practices at the college level; 3) develop DISTL curriculum modules for meeting the needs of diverse students in chemistry courses; 5) piloting and implementing DISTL curriculum in chemistry classrooms and 6) conducting studies to test the impact of DISTL curriculum on student diversity and inclusion practices, instructor and student attitudes, student academic achievement and student retention in the STEM related majors. This study was conducted using a mixed methods approach where surveys, and standardized assessments were used to gather data on student diversity, academic performance, and student retention of knowledge.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Chemistry -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Inclusive education.
Academic achievement.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright