San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.30.1 - 25.30.6
A Comprehensive Plan to Improve Retention and Graduation Rates in Engineering FieldsThis paper describes the implementation of a comprehensive engineering education improvementplan which includes a fusion of strategies with the long-term objective the minimization offactors that adversely affect academic performance of entering minority freshmen. Thesestrategies are intended to minimize the impact of deviations that, if too great and side effects toomany, then the probability of the desired outcome becomes far removed and its predictabilityentirely uncertain, particularly for students from low socio-economic groups and historicallyunderrepresented minorities. The most important desired outcome is graduation, and asimportantly, graduation in 6 years or less, which the state of Texas has mandated to be 53% by2016.Thus the purpose of this project at UTSA is to increase post secondary enrollments, retention,and the number of engineering graduates, and to increase collaboration between UTSA’sengineering departments and the private companies in Texas who employ these graduates. Thepriorities of this effort are:1. Develop, grow and maintain the engineering bridge program targeting Hispanic female pre- freshmen entering Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical engineering.2. Improve student learning in the freshman mathematics curriculum and thereby increase retention and graduation time by facilitating a “just-in-time” pedagogical approach to non- calculus ready students, which the majority of our minority students are.3. Maintain and strengthen the engineering mentoring programs, with the particular focus of increasing the numbers, retention, and graduation time and rates of Hispanic female engineering students.The plan includes a comprehensive and integrated strategy that involves fusing 5 recognizededucation best practices as follows: 1) recruitment; 2) formal mentoring through peer mentors; 3)summer immersion camp/engineering math prep and workshops; 4) academic year stipends; andsummer internships in local and regional companies.The three dependent variables that measure quality (GPA), system reliability (Retention - RET),and time (Progress Toward Degree - PTD) are used for the assessment purposes for two groupsof students: Pilot and Traditional groups. Retention is defined as the ratio of those cohorts inengineering versus the total number that began. PTD is especially important given the impetusplaced on 6 year graduation rates by the State. Loosely defined, it is quantified as the ratio ofnumber of degree catalog hours earned to the targeted number of degree hours at any point intime. The pilot program has been in place for the last 4 years; thereafter, based on thepreliminary assessment, a full implementation can be undertaken; that is, all engineering studentswould go through the new process.
Shadaram, M., & Morrow, T. B., & Agrawal, C. M. (2012, June), A Comprehensive Plan to Improve Retention and Graduation Rates in Engineering Fields Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20790
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