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A Study Of Minority Engineering Students And Time To Completion Of First Year Required Courses At Texas A&M University

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Academic Boot Camp

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

12.127.1 - 12.127.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3023

Download Count

31

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Paper Authors

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Jorja Kimball Texas Engineering Experiment Station

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Dr. Jorja Kimball is the Director of Strategic Research Development office for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, an agency of the Texas A&M University system. She holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, BBA and MBA. Her research interests and publications involve engineering education, diversity, and underrepresented engineering groups and issues.

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Bryan Cole Texas A&M University

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Dr. Bryan R. Cole is Professor of Educational Administration in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Dr. Cole has served in a variety of administrative capacities and as the Director of the Summer Seminar on Academic Administration for twenty-eight years training over 1000 higher education administrators representing over 150 institutions. Dr. Cole's professional interests include continuous improvement in educational systems, educational law and educational administration and he is a frequent speaker and consultant on systemic improvement of educational systems. Dr. Cole received his B. S. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration (Higher Education) from Texas A&M University.

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Margaret Hobson Texas Engineering Experiment Station

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Margaret Hobson is a Senior Research Development Associate for the Strategic Research Development office for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, an agency of the Texas A&M University system. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology. Her research interests include statistical applications for educational research.

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Karan Watson Texas A&M University

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Karan Watson, Ph.D. serves as Dean of Faculties & Associate Provost and Regents Professor in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Dr. Watson is a registered professional engineer and a Fellow in both the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She serves as an ABET evaluator, both in the US and internationally. Her research interests include Engineering Education, Faculty Development, Diagnostic Systems, Digital System Testing, VLSI Computer Architectures, VLSI System Design, and Neural Networks.

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Christine Stanley Texas A&M Univeristy

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Dr. Christine A. Stanley is Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Higher Education Administration in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. Her professional duties and research interests are in faculty development, recruitment, retention, and diversity as well as promotion and tenure for diverse faculty. She holds a BS from Prairie View A&M University; a M.S. as well as Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. She has authored or edited three books on college teaching, has over 40 publications and 43 refereed national presentations, and serves as Senior Editor and on editorial boards.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

1

A STUDY OF MINORITY ENGINEERING STUDENTS AND TIME TO COMPLETION OF FIRST YEAR REQUIRED COURSES AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY Abstract For many years, colleges of engineering across the nation have required the completion of foundational courses before a student could begin coursework in a specific engineering major. Since 1998, The Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU) has required that first-time enrolling students complete certain courses (termed the Core Body of Knowledge or CBK), with specific cumulative grade points required for specific majors. With the pressure to increase the number and diversity of US engineers, retention, especially first-year retention, and time to degree became important issues. However, the relationship between time to completion of foundational coursework and student characteristics and academic factors had not been previously examined by TAMU. Therefore, a study of first-year engineering students at TAMU was conducted to determine the relationship of ethnicity, gender, engineering major, unmet financial need, and cumulative grade point average on time to completion of CBK courses. Results of interest were those involving the variables gender, ethnicity, and unmet financial need. Statistical significance was found for the following variables in this study: cumulative grade point average (CGPA), gender, ethnicity, and unmet financial need. Analysis indicates that CGPA has the strongest relationship to completion of CBK of any independent variables in the study. For the study’s variable of major, statistical significance with time to completion of CBK was found for Chemical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering majors. Findings with implications for recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students in engineering are presented. Further study to determine profiles of those majors where statistical significance was found for students taking a greater or lesser amount of time for CBK completion than the mean is recommended, as is ongoing data collection and comparison for current cohorts of engineering majors by ethnicity and gender at TAMU.

Rationale During the past decade, there has been a national focus on increasing number the number and diversity of B.S. engineers. This along with the substantial increases in the Hispanic population, have caused many colleges of engineering to review the issues involving recruitment and retention of U.S. undergraduate students. Minorities comprise a significant portion of the U.S. population and have accounted for almost all of the relative growth in college enrollment from 1980-2000 [1]. Along with women, minority students (African American, Hispanic, and Native American), continue to be significantly underrepresented (16%) among engineering undergraduates [2, 3], and are also more likely than others to change out of science and engineering majors [4]. Though studies exist on the retention and matriculation of minority students in engineering [5-9], little information in the research literature relates to “time to

Kimball, J., & Cole, B., & Hobson, M., & Watson, K., & Stanley, C. (2007, June), A Study Of Minority Engineering Students And Time To Completion Of First Year Required Courses At Texas A&M University Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/3023

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015