June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
According to the National Science Board, an increase in the admission of students from underrepresented populations will be needed to improve current enrollment trends at institutions of higher education. In particular, studies show that enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of engineering students from underrepresented populations (i.e., women, ethnic minorities) have historically been lower than those of other student populations. In addition, studies suggest students from underrepresented populations face unique and amplified issues that impede their persistence and degree completion. These impediments can include inadequate K-12 preparation, social isolation on campus and other challenges related to their successful transition into the university. Over the years, many strategies have been implemented in efforts to address these challenges. These strategies have included peer counseling, faculty, and corporate mentoring, targeted academic support programs, need-based financial assistance, centralized academic advising, and student transition support. The projected shortcoming of students completing the degree program create an urgent need for diversity within the field; it is critical to increase efforts to provide first-year and underrepresented students with the academic, social and transition support needed to promote their success. The purpose of this research is to introduce the Successful Transition and Enhanced Preparation for Undergraduates Program (STEPUP) as a case study intervention to increase student success in engineering. The STEPUP program can serve as a model to assist institutions in the development of a comprehensive, step-by-step process to improve the recruitment, motivation, and retention of underrepresented student populations (USP). STEPUP was established at the University of Florida's College of Engineering twenty-five years ago and has demonstrated great promise and success retaining first-year students in engineering. The STEPUP program model includes parameterized engineering related courses, experiential learning activities, and teaching methodologies. The primary objectives of the program include 1). Increasing student success in transitioning into the university/college, 2). Developing experiential learning programs that promote student professional development and, 3). Retaining students within the major until graduation.
Roberts, S., & Najafi, F. T., & Taylor, C. R. (2019, June), A Retrospective on Undergraduate Engineering Success for Underrepresented and First-Year Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--31987
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