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A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Pre-College Preparation and Use of Supplemental Instruction during the First Year on GPA and Retention for Women in Engineering

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31969

Download Count

10

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Paper Authors

biography

Bradley Joseph Priem Northeastern University

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Bradley Priem is a fourth year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biochemical engineering. He has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review program for three years. He has also held an undergraduate research position in a biomaterials laboratory on campus. He has completed two co-ops in the biotech industry, and is currently completing his third co-op at a tissue engineering research laboratory at the University of Hannover in Germany.

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Caroline Ghio Northeastern University

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Caroline is a third-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in data science. She completed her first co-op at a biotech startup working on sustained release drug delivery. Ghio has tutored students as part of the Connections Chemistry program for two years and does research in a biomaterials laboratory on Northeastern University's campus.

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Hannah Boyce Northeastern University

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Hannah Boyce is a second year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Engineering Management at Northeastern University. She has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review program for a year, was a Teaching Assistant for Cornerstone of Engineering, holds an e-board position on AIChE, and is involved with ChemE Car. She participates in biomaterials research on campus and has had a co-op at Alivio Therapeutics.

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Sydney Anne Morris Northeastern University

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Sydney Morris is a second year undergraduate student studying chemical engineering at Northeastern University. She has been involved in the Connections Chemistry Review Program for one year, and is also an active member of the university's chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is on the ChemE Car team. Sydney is also part of the Complex Electrochemical Systems Laboratory on campus where she works with lithium ion coin cells, and she will be completing her first co-op this fall.

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Emma Kaeli Stanford University

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Emma Kaeli is a first-year PhD candidate at Stanford University in Materials Science and Engineering. As a member of the Chueh Group, Kaeli investigates new solid state battery technologies. While an undergraduate, Kaeli earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. In her spare time there, Kaeli enjoyed tutoring and doing survey-based research on the impact of gender on student success in STEM programs.

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Tyler Byrne Cole Northeastern University

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Tyler Cole is a graduate of Northeastern University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Managament and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2018. While at Northeastern, he was involved in the Connections Chemistry Review program and first year engineering tutoring for four years. Tyler currently works as a tech transfer engineer in biopharmaceuticals.

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Paul A. DiMilla Northeastern University

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Paul A. DiMilla is an Affiliate Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. During his academic career at Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, and Olin College he has been the recipient of the first Whitaker Young Investigator Award from the BMES, a Searle Scholar Award, and an Early Career Development Award from the NSF as well as a three-time recipient of the Omega Chi Epsilon Outstanding Faculty Award from the Northeastern Student Affiliate of AIChE and the Dick Sioui Teaching Award from Northeastern. He also has led industrial R&D teams at Organogenesis Inc. and Polymerix Corporation developing tissue-engineered medical products and drug- generating biodegradable polymers, respectively, and has co-founded Automated Cell, Inc. In addition to being an inventor on 12 issued US patents, he has published the textbook General Chemistry for Engineers with Cognella Academic Publishing.

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Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

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Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions in IBM, Hanover Insurance, and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of factors including self-reported gender, first semester GPA, college credit earned in high school, participation in study abroad, major, and use of supplemental instruction (SI) on retention and academic success of 719 undergraduate students who enrolled in engineering during the fall of 2013 at Northeastern University. Our previous research has shown that use of SI in high school resulted in higher course grades and higher GPAs through a student’s fourth semester. This study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of SI and other factors on retention and academic performance over a five-year period.

Data for gender, pre-matriculation college credit, cumulative GPA, major, and registration status at the end of each semester from Fall 2013 through Summer 2018 were obtained from the University for 211 female and 508 male engineering students who entered at the start of the Fall 2013 semester. Data for participation in group and one-on-one tutoring was available from attendance logs for these forms of SI offered to first-year students. This information was analyzed for the effects of gender, number of college credits earned in high school, and participation in first-year SI on retention, graduation rate, GPA, and frequency of both change-in-major and study abroad after each semester.

We found that male and female students’ GPAs at the end of their first semester at Northeastern University correlated positively with not only their fourth semester GPAs, but also their graduation GPAs. Females had higher five-year rates of graduation, as well as higher mean GPAs at graduation compared to males. The amount of college credit earned in high school influenced students’ academic performance in college. A lack of pre-matriculation college credit had a significant negative effect on males, with males without pre-college credit having lower retention and graduation rates and lower GPAs at every time point compared to their male peers who entered with college credit. In contrast, the retention and graduation rates, as well as GPAs of females without pre-enrollment college credit did not differ significantly from their female peers with credits. Overall, females used SI at higher rates than their male counterparts. Furthermore, females entering without college credit used first-year SI at markedly higher rates than their female peers who entered with college credit and male counterparts who entered with and without college credit. In summary, these results show a link between first semester GPA and graduation rates, demonstrate that college-level coursework taken during high school is correlated to college graduation GPA for males, and suggest that SI usage during the first semester of college by females without college credit may explain why females achieve higher levels of academic success throughout their undergraduate careers.

Priem, B. J., & Ghio, C., & Boyce, H., & Morris, S. A., & Kaeli, E., & Cole, T. B., & DiMilla, P. A., & Reisberg, R. (2019, June), A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Pre-College Preparation and Use of Supplemental Instruction during the First Year on GPA and Retention for Women in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/31969

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