LSE Special Issue–Community College Biology Education Research

Submit an Abstract

Almost half of undergraduate students in the sciences pursue studies in community colleges (CCs), including the majority of first-generation college-going students and students from populations underserved in the sciences. However, the assets, innovations, and approaches of community college biology education have been understudied. Additionally, community college students and instructors are often overlooked in biology education research that aspires to draw generalizable conclusions. To bring attention to community college biology education and encourage greater attention to these students and instructors, CBE – Life Sciences Education (LSE; will publish a special issue in 2022 highlighting research articles, essays, and features that amplify the voices of community college students, instructors, researchers, and authors. By highlighting community college biology education research, we hope to foster new lines of inquiry, new collaborations, and new insights to support increased understanding of the community college biology education context. We welcome authors at all phases of their career, with varying levels of biology education research experience, in a variety of professional positions and institutional contexts, and from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Stacy Alvares, Edmonds College and Bellevue College,
Beatriz Gonzalez, Santa Fe College,
James Hewlett, Finger Lakes Community College,
Jennifer Kurushima, Evergreen Valley College,
Jenny McFarland, Edmonds College, Emeritus,
Sheela Vemu, Waubonsee Community College,
LSE co-Editor-in-Chief: Jeff Schinske, Foothill College,
LSE co-Editor-in-Chief: Kimberly Tanner, San Francisco State University,


A broad range of manuscript topics will be considered, including but not limited to:

  • Promoting community college collaborations with other institution types
  • Innovative approaches to biology teaching in community colleges
  • Social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion related to biology education in community colleges
  • Instructor professional development efforts, inclusive of part-time, adjunct, and associate instructors
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations with connections to biology in community colleges
  • Career pathways in community colleges
  • Integrating research experiences into community college courses
  • Aligning courses, curriculum, and pedagogy between community colleges and universities
  • Supporting students in the transfer experience
  • And any number of other arenas that connect to community college biology education research


Articles reporting original research are prioritized, but reviews and perspectives submitted as essays will be considered as well. To be publishable in this special issue of LSE, scholarly work must:

  1. Connect in some way to community college students, instructors, programs, or innovations
  2. Have implications for biology education researchers and practitioners
  3. Be evidence-based, grounded in systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data


The dates below were designed with the demands and annual schedule of community college colleagues in mind.

April 1, 2021: Abstract submission deadline

May 1, 2021: LSE sends invitations for submission of full manuscripts September 15, 2021: Invited authors submit full manuscripts for review process

Mid-November 2021: Invited authors receive initial peer reviews for submitted manuscripts Mid-February 2022: Invited authors submit revised manuscripts for secondary review Summer 2022: LSE publishes Special Issue

Notes: All submitted manuscripts will undergo the usual LSE anonymous peer review process. Manuscripts that are favorably reviewed but beyond the scope of this theme may be published in a different issue of the journal. As always, a waiver or fee reduction for publication charges may be available by request.


Submitted abstracts should include the following and should be 300-500 words:

  • TITLE, clearly linked to community college biology education
  • AUTHOR(S), including name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and email address(es); submissions are welcome from all, and inclusion of community college co-authors is strongly
  • NARRATIVE, brief description of focus of anticipated manuscript submission, including: 1) connection to community college students, instructors, programs, or innovations, 2) implications for biology education researchers and practitioners, and

3) methods for systematic evidence collection, analysis, and interpretation.

Submit abstracts via email to Kimberly Tanner ( by April 1, 2021.

ABSTRACT REVIEW, decisions for all submitted abstracts will be sent by May 1, 2021 via email after review by the guest co-editorial team to ensure that a range of topics and perspectives are represented in this special issue.


Interested authors are welcome to contact any of the Guest Editors or LSE Co-Editors- in-Chief with questions. Additionally, drop-in questions are welcome at the following optional LSE Special Issue-CC BER Support Sessions:

February 22, 1-2pm PT March 10, 9-10am PT March 15, 1-2pm PT

Zoom Information:

passcode: LSE

(Meeting ID: 895 7041 4015; phone access to Zoom meeting: +1 669 900 6833)

************************************************************************************************************* About CBE – Life Sciences Education

CBE – Life Sciences Education (LSE; is an online, quarterly journal owned and published by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in editorial partnership with the Genetics Society of America and with partial support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The journal publishes original, previously unpublished, peer-reviewed articles on research and evaluation related to life sciences education, as well as articles about evidence- based biology instruction at all levels. The ASCB believes that biology learning encompasses diverse fields, including math, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science, as well as the interdisciplinary intersections of biology with these fields.

One goal of the journal is to encourage teachers and instructors to view teaching and learning the way scientists view their research, as an intellectual undertaking that is informed by systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data related to student learning. Target audiences include those involved in education in K–12 schools, two-year colleges, four-year colleges, science centers and museums, universities, and professional schools, including graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. All published articles are available freely online without subscription. LSE publishes under the Creative Commons 3.0 agreement. LSE articles are indexed in PubMed and available through PubMed Central.

For more information about the journal and guidance on determining suitability of a manuscript for LSE, please see the Information for Authors at:

Manuscripts can be submitted at:

Submit an Abstract

About the Author:

This post was collaboratively written by several ASCB staff members.