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Welcome from the Deeper Student Learning (DSL)

Director - Ruby L. Broadway, Ph.D.


Welcome to the DSL Program Pathway to Success in STEM at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The DSL program is designed to increase student success by creating an environment for students that implements a holistic approach to learning. The aims of the DSL Program is to: improve success; improve retention and; increase STEM graduation rates



The Dillard University Deeper Student Learning (DU-DSL) program Pathway to Success in STEM is program designed to improve Student Achievement by identifying and implementing instructional strategies, systems, and structures that improve postsecondary learning and retention, resulting in completion of a degree in a STEM field. The proposed DU-DSL Program directly responds to both the Competitive Preference Priority and the Invitational Priority as defined in the Program Solicitation.


The DU-DSL was conceived after a prolific STEM discernment process that identified three key barriers at Dillard to student STEM success, retention, on-time graduation and selection into STEM careers: (a) students enter DU with limited mathematics competences and confidence; (b) inadequate deeper learning and content retention, to gradually build on fundamental concepts in courses over time; and (c) limited on-campus research experiences that promises every STEM major has the opportunity to “emulate a scientist”, and solve authentic research questions. Consequently, the DU-DSL project will embrace evidence–based STEM curricular and pedagogical strategies and aligned professional development in order to: (1) increase overall STEM enrollment, boost students’ acquisition of STEM required skills and confidence in gate-keeper courses; (2) accomplish DSL by adding required peer-led supplemental instruction to all STEM gatekeeper courses that are currently barriers for student progression and retention; and (3) encourage STEM interest, communication skills, critical thinking and experimental design by introducing authentic research into course-associated laboratories per STEM degree pathways.


The primary goal of this project will focus on our progress in innovation in STEM gate keeper courses, faculty development in student-centered pedagogies to encourage deeper learning and our gradual implementation of authentic research in courses associated. We propose the measurable outcomes of this effort will increase student STEM retention in biology from 25% to 30% as well as: chemistry by 10%, mathematics 10%, computer science 10% and physics 10%. Also, the time to completion of STEM prerequisite mathematics courses will be shortened to 1 semester instead of 2 semesters. Also, performance in targeted gateway courses will improve by an average of 1+ grade level/course, and STEM on-time graduation rate will increase from 27.27% to 40%.



  • to effect long-range improvements in science and engineering education at predominantly minority institutions and;
  • to increase the flow of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and technological careers.


These objectives will be accomplished through: (a) the growth of the DU STEM Academic Outreach program and (b) a prominent paradigm-shift from traditional lectures to discovery-based teaching, hypothesis-driven project labs, summer research engagements, and instructional synergy to build a cohort of students prepared to succeed in 21st century STEM careers.



The Dillard University Deeper Student Learning (DU-DSL) is a residential summer bridge program designed to improve student achievement by identifying and implementing instructional strategies that improve postsecondary learning and retention, resulting in completion of a degree in a STEM field.


DSL will utilize strategies based on best practices in creating a learner-centered environment and assisting students in STEM programs.


    STEM/DSL students will be engaged in summer enrichment activities and a series of enrichment activities during the academic year.  There will be a five-week summer DU-DSL STEM Program for PRE-STEM students. The courses will introduce students to the fundamentals of each subject and students will receive 3 or 4 hours of college credit per course upon successful completion.


Courses will include, but not limited to:

                  General Biology and Lab- - - - - - - --4 credits

                  General Chemistry Module -- - - - - -0 credits  

                  Pre-Calculus- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -3 credits

                 Technical Writing Lecture/

                 Scientific Communications- - - - --- - 0 credits


*Credit valid only with Dillard University Fall Enrollment


DSL can smooth your transition from High School to DU as a STEM major


  • Boost students’ skills and confidence in biology, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and physics courses;
  • Introduce face-to-face and online course modules;
  • Mentoring program;
  • Supplemental peer-leadership instruction in all STEM gatekeeper courses;
  • Stimulate STEM interest and retention, communication skills, critical thinking , and;
  • Introduction of experimental design through authentic research in course-associated laboratories.




To ease high school students’ transition into STEM majors, Dillard University’s DSL program will offer the following on-campus activities:  

SHADOW DAY:  Students will experience a day of college life in the area of STEM.  Each student will be assigned to an undergraduate student to shadow as they go to classes, lunch and other campus activities.   Shadow Day will be an enjoyable experience of a realistic day of college life. The Shadow Day will be held twice a semester. 

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM:  During the school year, high school students will visit the DU campus and observe current projects in the research laboratories.  

  • Students will formulate a special project that they can conduct with one of the research mentors.
  • Students will be encouraged to participate in at least one science fair or competition at their school.
  • Students will make oral or poster presentations at DU High School DSL Research Day.



Complete application

3 Letters of Recommendations

500 word paragraph describing your reason for applying, including a description of career goals

Acceptance to Dillard

US Citizen, permanent residents or green card

Intended STEM major


Financial Support

Participants will receive:

Scholarship that covers full tuition, housing and meals, books and supplies

Additionally, upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a $1,000 stipend.





Dr. Ruby Broadway, Director

Deeper Student Learning

2601 Gentilly Boulevard

New Orleans, LA  70122


Phone: 504-861-4725


Pauline Nguyen, Administrative Assistant


Phone: 504-816-5007  



Supported by:

Department of Education

Minority Science and Engineering Improvement




2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

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