The Impact of Teaching Assistants on Student Retention in the Sciences: Lessons for TA Training
Christopher O'Neal, Mary Wright, Constance Cook, Tom Perorazio, Joel Purkiss 2007 Journal of College Science Teaching v. 36, no. 5, p. 24-29
Abstract: Attrition from the sciences remains a national problem. This article presents results from a survey of over 2,100 undergraduates that, contrary to previous research, suggests that teaching assistants (TAs) influence student retention in the sciences s in multiple ways. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and student comments suggest that TAs influence lab climate, course grades, and students' knowledge of science careers, all of which have an effect on students' decisions to stay in or leave the sciences. We close with recommendations for TA training, mentoring, and management to positively impact student retention.
A PDF of this article is available online to members of NSTA [link http://www.nsta.org/publications/article.aspx?id=jQFdW100xwg= 'here'].