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College of Social Sciences
The Purpose of the COSS Faculty Learning Community (FLC) program is to enhance the
collaboration of COSS faculty through project-based learning to investigate and respond
to questions, problems, and challenges identified in the College of Social Sciences.
During AY 2020–21, five COSS FLC fellows worked on three projects supported by analysts
from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE). Through these projects, the
COSS FLC fellows built capacity to perform institutional-applied research and develop
a relationship with the OIE analysts.
These research presentations were planned during the Spring of 2021.
For more information about COSS FLC, please contact:
Yoshiko Takahashi, Ph.D.Interim Associate Dean, College of Social Sciencesytakahashi@csufresno.edu
Title: The Impact of Ethnic Studies Courses for All Students at Fresno StateDrs. Takkara Brunson and Davorn Sisavath, and Alex Nottbohm, Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE)
In the face of polarizing debates mandating Ethnic Studies (ES) within the CSU, though,
evidence of the positive impact of ES curricula for students of color has shown to
graduate at a higher rate. Drs. Brunson and Sisavath explored the impact of ES courses
for students who have taken or are currently enrolled in a course(s) in the following
programs: Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Chicano
and Latin American Studies. The study is threefold: first to explore students’ success
through ES, second to build common outcomes across introductory ES courses, and third
to develop and explore factors to improve ES visibility within COSS and the university.
Title: A Study of Key Needs and Concerns of Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty in the College of Social SciencesDrs. Maritere Lopez and Kat Fobear,and Chris Hernandez, Senior Survey Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Effectiveness
Drs. Kat Fobear and Maritere Lopez undertook a study of the key needs and concerns
of tenure/tenure-track faculty in the College of Social Sciences. The goal was to
document and better understand faculty satisfaction within the college. Focusing on
resource adequacy, workload expectations, collaborative opportunities, quality of
communication, shared governance, and equity and fairness, this research will be the
basis for a set of recommendations for the improvement of faculty experiences within
FLC Fellow Bio:
Title: A Multilevel Analysis on Students’ Grades Amid COVID-19
Dr. Yu Zhang and Hongtao Yue, Senior Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Effectiveness
In March 2020, the course teaching on campus was changed to a virtual format due to
COVID-19, and this transition brought tremendous challenges to both students’ learning
and faculty teaching. Average students’ grades in Spring 2020 increased 40% compared
with Spring 2019. The project investigates how students’ grades correlate and explore
the potential cause behind the grade increase by using OIE datasets. The project examines
different level factors, including students, courses, and faculty members.