Book Chapter or Section
The Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) model has shown to be an effective instructional method to support females, underrepresented minorities, and first-generation students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The collaborative problem-solving setting, led by a peer leader, fosters learning that engages all the students. There are six critical components that are vital to the PLTL model: 1) The PLTL Workshop is integral to the course; 2) Faculty is actively involved; 3) Peer Leaders are well trained; 4) The PLTL Workshop modules are challenging; 5) PLTL workshops are allocated time and space; and 6) There is institutional support. City Tech has implemented the PLTL workshops in selected foundation mathematics courses over the past five years because of the dismal pass and withdrawal rates. Overall results have shown that females, underrepresented minorities, and first-generation college students who actively participated in the PLTL workshops have higher course grades and lower withdrawal rates. Students are also afforded the opportunity to participate in the PLTL Leadership program. Through the PLTL Leadership program, females, underrepresented minorities, and first-generation college students (107 peer leaders in total) who have successfully completing their STEM degrees, are either in the STEM workforce or pursuing advanced STEM degrees. The PLTL model supports students who are academically disadvantaged, and provides students with an opportunity to build their leadership skills and to create a pathway to graduate school.