LEADS: Learners Engaged in Advocating for Diversity in Science

What do students have to say about the LEADS course?

What is LEADS?

LEADS – Learners Engaged in Advocating for Diversity in Science – is a service learning course and program.

LEADS is focused on making biology classrooms and course curriculum more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming for students of all backgrounds, especially first-generation college-going students, students of color, and transfer students.

NOTE: The PALS and LEADS programs have been combined so that student leaders and faculty can partner in class meetings once a week AND collaborate on developing inclusive teaching materials. This combined program will be referred to as PALS going forward (Fall 2022).

Does LEADS offer course credit?

Yes! LEADS participation includes 4 units that counts towards students’ biology degree as upper division, major elective units! Students who participate in both LEADS (Biol 644) and PALS (Biol 654) can only have one course count toward their degree.

Invited SFSU Biology student leaders must be able to attend the class portion of the course every Wednesday from 2-3:40 pm (on Zoom for Spring 2022).

What is the classwork component of LEADS?

Students will examine issues involving equity and diversity of scientific teaching with a specific focus on the development of inclusive practices within the upper-division courses in Biology.

What is the fieldwork component of LEADS?

Students will be involved in developing active learning exercises and assessments in their faculty/course partnerships that aspires to increase diversity and inclusion in Biology. For example, students will build Scientist Spotlights to showcase more biologists from diverse backgrounds in their partnered classroom!

How does LEADS impact biology students?

LEADS students have had a significant impact across the biology department at SF State. Specifically, biology students who were enrolled in LEADS partner courses increased in their relatability to scientists (Aranda et al., 2021).

Why should you participate in LEADS?

LEADS is a super hands-on course and an amazing opportunity to partner with SFSU biology faculty to change what is taught to include the stories of scientists who represent diverse personal and cultural backgrounds. The knowledge and skills that students gain from LEADS are strengths that they bring into their future careers as educators, researchers, healthcare workers, and more in all fields of biology!

Want to learn more about LEADS from alumni?

Watch the PALS/LEADS Student Perspectives – Video Series to hear about different PALS/LEADS alumni’s experiences! Preview one of the videos below:

Still have questions? Check out the resources below!

What else do students have to say about the LEADS course?