What We Do

Factors Influencing College Success in Science (FICSS) is just that, a project that looks at the contributing characteristics to the success of students in entry level courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Collecting data from 55 four-year US colleges and universities across 128 different first-semester introductory college science course, this project is already making a huge impact on science teaching and the preparation for success in college.  Results from this project continue to be published in major journals, including Science.

The analyses from this data set are helping to develop a better understanding of what factors are most effective in science teaching.

Affiliated Faculty

Robert H Tai

Robert H. Tai

  • Associate Professor

Related Lab

  • Research Lab

Robert H. Tai Research Group

The Robert H. Tai Research Group is a research team based at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.  This multi-institutional team conducts quantitative and qualitative research on major issues in Science Education.  The overarching goal is to produce robust empirical data that targets national policy, with the outcome of developing science students into productive and contributing scientists.

Dr. Tai and his research team cover a wide-range of interests including student engagement in K-12 science, the retention of students in the science pipeline, factors influencing success in college science courses, the transition of graduate students to practicing scientist, as well as the role of specialized high schools in talent development.  The team takes advantage of the many outlets for sharing and presenting research findings, thus reaching a wide audience in informing and influencing Science Education.