How Faculty Are Gearing Up for Biology Boot Camp 2024, Benefits for Incoming Students

April 03, 2024

When you hear the term "boot camp," you may think of intensive rigorous physical training. Two LSU Instructors are gearing up for another kind of boot camp called BIOS, or Biology Intensive Orientation for Students. In this case, it’s a way to train incoming freshmen to prepare them for what college expectations are like.

"We do have actual lectures and so they get to experience that and we give them actual tests and so they get to experience a test and it doesn't count," said Senior Instructor Barry Aronhime. "We use the testing center for one of those exams so they get to experience what
using the LSU Testing Center is like."


Students are sketching out a schedule to graduate in four years.

Aronhime and Dr. Steve Pomarico are behind BIOS, the four-day program that students can sign up for during Welcome Week. Aside from meeting future classmates, there are discussions on financial planning and how to build a four-year plan to graduate on time. Last year 115 students signed up, but they have the capacity for 200 in 2024.

"The effect that we have seen is that BIOS students have a higher GPA than non-BIOS students," said Aronhime. "They outperform non-BIOS students in Biology 1201 and 1202. Historically, BIOS participants are more likely to remain a biology major as a sophomore and graduate in four years."

Two groups of students that historically underperform in college, first-generation students and PELL recipients, do better when taking BIOS, he said. The gender and racial disparities are also diminishes. Basically, in general BIOS seems to help all groups of students studied.

The program fee is $275, but it includes two-year access to the e-textbook and homework platform used in both semesters of Introductory Biology. The cost that students would normally pay for these materials from the publisher is $129.99.