African American students experience attrition from biology majors more than other underrepresented minority groups (URM; NSF, 2019). Peer-led learning communities (PLC; Xu et al., 2018) have the potential to promote successful biology course completion. The performance pyramid is a theoretical framework to improve STEM outcomes for URM students by addressing Knowledge and Skills; Performance Capability; Rewards, Recognition, and Incentives; Tools, Environments and Processes; Expectations and Feedback; and Motivation, Values, and Self-efficacy (Wedman, 2010). The purpose is to examine the impact of a performance pyramid-based PLC on course knowledge at a Historically Black University (HBCU). We compared PLC students to control group students on pre-post (a) biology course knowledge; (b) college algebra course knowledge; and (c) perceived performance pyramid supports. An ANCOVA indicated that the LC and mathematics control students performed similarly on a measure of algebra course knowledge. Group differences from a multivariate analysis of covariance on perceived performance pyramid supports were mostly statistically non-significant. Overall, the LC increased biology and math course performance.
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