Gateway Initiative III: Teaching as Research

The Office of Academic Affairs invites full-time and part-time BMCC faculty to investigate teaching and learning in large-enrollment gateway courses in a third round of the Gateway Initiative.

“Gateway” courses are those courses that students must take to move forward in an academic program, typically developmental and “101” courses. At community colleges, these courses generally have high enrollments, and also high rates of failure and non-completion. Students who fail or drop these courses are less likely to persist in college than those who pass.

In this three-semester initiative, faculty will address student success in gateway courses at BMCC using a “teaching as research” (TAR) approach. Teaching as research is a type of inquiry that involves, “the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods” to examine teaching and learning in one’s own classroom. TAR is an iterative process that includes defining or clarifying student learning outcomes, developing a hypothesis about teaching practices that will help students achieve those outcomes, implementing an experimental design, collecting and analyzing data to determine what students have learned, reflecting on the process, revising based on what you have learned, and repeating the process.

Program Overview

Spring 2018 – Develop Initial Plan for Teaching as Research Project

Over the course of four group meetings, you will:

  • Select a gateway course that you teach and review the BMCC data about that course.
  • Identify challenges to address and develop student learning outcomes related to these challenges.
  • Examine the research literature on successful approaches to teaching similar courses, and share this information with other participating faculty.
  • Develop a hypothesis or research question about teaching practices that could help students achieve the identified learning outcomes.
  • Develop a plan to investigate this hypothesis or research question in your Fall 2018 course.
  • Share your plan with colleagues, and give and receive feedback.

Fall 2018 – Implement Plan in Your Class

As you begin to implement your plan, we will hold a series of small group meetings that will give you an opportunity to share your work in progress and get feedback from colleagues. You should plan to attend at least two of these meetings during the fall semester: at least one meeting at which you share your work, and at least one meeting at which you give colleagues feedback about their work. At the end of the semester, you will review the data you collected, write a reflection on your project, and revise your plan for the spring semester.

Spring 2019 – Implement Revised Plan / Report on Results

In the final semester of the program, you will implement your revised plan in the same gateway course, and will develop a report on your work to be shared on the CETLS web site. You will also present your project to the entire Gateway Initiative cohort and to your department or appropriate departmental group.

Post Project – Present at BMCC SoTL Forum

We strongly encourage participating faculty to share their projects at the annual BMCC Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Forum, held each fall semester, and will provide support for faculty who wish to share their projects more broadly (e.g., at national conferences or in peer-reviewed journals).


Full-time and part-time faculty teaching one of the gateway courses on the attached list are invited to apply. You should plan to teach the same gateway course in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. We invite participation from individuals and from pairs of faculty teaching the same gateway course.


Selected participants will receive a stipend of $500 per semester, for a total of $1500.

How to Apply

Please complete this application form no later than Thursday, February 8. Pairs of faculty who wish to work together should complete a single application. We will notify selected faculty by Tuesday, February 20.

Please contact Gina Cherry, CETLS Director, if you have additional questions.

Gateway Courses Eligible for the Gateway III Initiative


ACC 122

Business Management

BUS 110

MAR 100

Computer Information Systems

CIS 100


ENG 101

ENG 201

Health Education

HED 100

HED 110



MAT 12

MAT 104

MAT 150

MAT 206

Modern Languages

SPN 101

SPN 105

Music and Art

MUS 102

CHE 121

PHY 110

Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice
CRJ 101

ECO 201

PHI 100

POL 100

PSY 100

PSY 240

SOC 100


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