Rojas-Vazquez, G. M.
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO IN PONCE
PO BOX 7186
Department of Biology
Non Technical Summary
University of Puerto Rico-Ponce collaborating with University of Puerto Rico-Utuado and US Forest Service will strengthen the curriculum via experiential learning and scientific instrumentation, and retention. The 75% of students from the Agricultural Biotechnology course and Agricultural Summer Workshops will finish their Baccalaureate or Master in food or agriculture related fields. Students? retention will be measured by universities Registrar Offices.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
201 - Plant Genome, Genetics, and Genetic Mechanisms; 903 - Communication, Education, and Information Delivery;
Subject Of Investigation
7299 - Research equipment and methods, general/other; 2499 - Plant research, general;
Field Of Science
3020 - Education; 1080 - Genetics;
increase faculty competencies
4 year hsi
us forest service
teaching experiential learning
student recruitment and retention
associate and bachelor degrees
Goals / Objectives
The specific performance-based objectives are: (1) to create an interdisciplinary course named Agricultural Biotechnology (3 credits, 45 hours) by the end of the first quarter of the first project year, in accordance with the institutional standard procedures required for the course creation. This course will cover the basic principles of plant biotechnology using current examples, gene mapping in breeding, and transgenic approaches to improve crops. This will be done together with laboratories experiences; (2) to recruit 14 students (six from Biotechnology and eight from Agricultural Technology Program) that will be enrolled in the Agricultural Biotechnology course offered during the second semester and of the Agricultural Summer Workshops of each project year, for a total of 28 students participating at the end of the project; (3) to design the summer workshops in order to integrate agricultural skills in biotechnology, covering: agronomy techniques, social importance of agriculture and the importance of an appropriate management of crops, especially transgenic; (4) to develop related educational materials to be used in the course and in the summer workshops, such as protocols for Recombinant DNA Techniques and PCR, and handouts; (5) to provide tutoring services in biotechnology to agricultural students, offered by an outstanding biotechnology major student. The performance-based objective 1, 3 and 4, will be based on Agricultural Biotechnology syllabi and workshops production and revision: course objectives, concepts or focus themes to be taught, assessment and evaluation methods to be employed. The performance-based objective 2 will be based on the analysis of students' recruitment and retention for the second semester and summer: promotion, students reached, number of students applying for admission to the project, number of students impacted in the project. The performance of students during the project will be measured in order to correlate the effectiveness of the tutoring service, stated in the performance-based objective 5. The experiences proposed within this project will serve to improve students' skills to become outstanding and competitive professionals capable to enter and stay successfully in the pipeline of the 21st century highly skilled food and agriculture related workforce.
First Year - During the first semester, meetings between Project Director (PD) and project's personnel will be performed to: (1) create the syllabus for the Agricultural Biotechnology course and the educational material (e.g., handouts and protocols), to be offered during the second semester of every project's year. The course will be created under the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce (UPRP) Honor Studies Program and it will only require a submission of the course' syllabus. The course will cover the basic principles of plant biotechnology using current examples, gene mapping in breeding, and transgenic approaches to improve crops. These actions will be done along with laboratories experiences, (2) submit requisitions, (3) select the biotechnology tutor for the next semester, (4) promote the project in order to recruit 14 students, six from UPRP (Baccalaureate Degree in Biology with a Sub-concentration in Biotechnology) and eight from University of Puerto Rico in Utuado (UPRU, Associate Degree in Agricultural Production Technology), (5) recruit one professor from UPRU (prior application), (6) complete the documentation for students registration. For each enrolled student, a list containing the following data will be prepared: name, enrollment number, entering GPA, academic program GPA, enrollment year, and number of credits approved, failed and withdrawn; and (7) create a webpage for the project in the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce homepage. During the second semester, the Agricultural Biotechnology course will be offered and the tutoring will be available to participant students. Also, meetings between PD and the project's personnel will be performed to: (1) create the Agricultural Summer Workshops and the educational materials (e.g., handouts). A series of six summer workshops of six hours each on agronomy techniques will be conducted during the summer period of every project's year. Among the areas to be covered are: social importance of agriculture and the importance of an appropriate management of crops, especially transgenic, and (2) register students from the Agricultural Biotechnology course on the summer workshops, (3) recruit one professor from UPRP (prior application). The evaluation plan for documenting and collecting data for assessment, evaluation, and determining progress outcomes of the Project is based upon close interaction, interviews, surveys, and data collecting procedures among the targeted students, faculty, collaborators, and the Project Evaluator (PE). At the end of each year, an evaluation report documenting the project performance indicators outcomes for each of Project's major objectives will be present by the PE to the PD. Second Year - Based on the evaluation report, strategies used during the offering of the Agricultural Biotechnology course and the Summer Workshops could be modified. Additional 14 students and one professor will be recruited following the same parameters as in the first year. During the second semester, the same dynamic of the first year will be followed.