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A Success Enhancement Program after the First Test in Freshman Engineering

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

FPD IX: Research on First-year Programs Part III

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.109.1 - 25.109.9



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Paper Authors


Richard M. Bennett University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Richard Bennett is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Director of Engineering Fundamentals, the University of Tennessee.

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William Schleter University of Tennessee, Knoxville


D. Raj Raman Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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D. Raj Raman is professor and Associate Chair for Teaching in the Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University, where he is also University Education Program Director and Testbed Champion for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals and Director of Graduate Education for the Interdepartmental Graduate Minor in Biorenewable Chemicals. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering from Cornell University. He became a licensed Professional Engineer while a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, where he co-taught in the Engage Freshmen Engineering Program with Richard M. Bennett. His research has focused on instrumentation and modeling of biological systems, and also on waste treatment and biomass to energy systems. He is interested in the relationship between fundamental rate constants in biological systems and the overall process economics and life-cycle impacts of those systems.

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A Success Enhancement Program after the First Test in Freshman EngineeringThe first test in a first-semester freshman engineering class can be difficult for many students. Itis often the first test they will have in college, and for some of them it will be the lowest testscore they have earned in their life. In order to help students in the adjustment to college, asuccess enhancement program is offered after the first test. Students are able to earn back aportion of the points they missed on the first exam based on completing certain tasks. For higherscoring students, 40% of the missed points can be earned by reworking the problems that weremissed, indicating why the points were missed (e.g. math error, did not understand the problem,careless mistake, ran out of time), and what actions will be taken to avoid the same mistake onfuture exams. A variety of things have been tried with lower scoring students. These haveincluded attending extra help sessions, meeting with an advisor or instructor, developing a studyschedule, and working extra math problems. Recently, the requirement for lower scoringstudents has been to retake the exam, with 75% of the difference between the two scores beingan adjustment to the original score. This paper describes the program in detail, examines theparticipation in this optional program, and examines the effect of the program on the overallcourse grade. 

Bennett, R. M., & Schleter, W., & Raman, D. R. (2012, June), A Success Enhancement Program after the First Test in Freshman Engineering Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20869

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