Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The Citadel, a regional, nationally-ranked, residential military college, is currently engaged in a multi-year NSF S-STEM project to encourage persistence of diverse, academically-talented, low-income civil engineering students. To accomplish this goal, we are structuring support activities around three major objectives: (1) Establish and foster a community of practice among S-STEM recipients, (2) Provide S-STEM students with opportunities to develop academic self-efficacy (particularly in early, barrier courses), and (3) Provide S-STEM students with opportunities to develop professional self-efficacy.
Program elements are intentionally structured in accordance with Wenger’s dimensions of communities of practice and Bandura’s self-efficacy framework. In developing (academic) communities of practice, students are being recruited in two cohorts. Cohorts are scheduled in the same courses, assigned to common dormitories, and participate in co-curricular seminars. During their freshmen and sophomore years, support services will be focused on calculus and chemistry courses, which are known barriers to persistence of our civil engineering students. We expect that changes to the sequence and/or pedagogy of barrier courses will positively impact students’ math and chemistry self-efficacy, and in turn, their persistence in civil engineering. In their junior and senior years, enhanced mentorship, research, and/or internship opportunities will be provided to improve their professional self-efficacy.
The proposed extended abstract will provide an overview of our S-STEM project to-date, with emphasis on a recently-administered summer calculus experience for our first cohort. Prior to their freshmen year, students lived on campus for six weeks and engaged in a variety of activities to prepare them for the academic and military rigors of campus life. In particular, students completed Calculus I in a small, restricted section over six weeks. The calculus course was disseminated in both face-to-face and online formats by two instructors. Parallel to the traditional calculus course, students also participated in a weekly Civil Engineering Applications Seminar, which was led by a civil engineering faculty. The seminar allowed students to engage in hands-on activities to connect calculus concepts with future civil engineering courses and practice. The seminar culminated in a civil engineering project, which was incorporated into the students’ overall Calculus I grade.
All six students, who entered the program with varying degrees of math preparedness, earned the necessary grade (C or higher) to progress to Calculus II. A math self-efficacy survey (with Likert-type questions) was administered to students at the beginning and end of their summer experience. Also, a focus group was conducted with students after beginning their freshmen year to collect insights on how the summer experience impacted their academic and military preparedness. Currently, quantitative and qualitative data are being analyzed and will be used to provide in insights for adapting the summer program for future S-STEM students, as well as civil engineering students more broadly.
Watson, M. K., & Ghanat, S. T., & Wood, T. A., & Davis, W. J., & Bower, K. C., & Hornor, T., & Welch, R. W. (2020, June), A Summer Calculus Experience to Encourage Development of Community and Self-efficacy Building of Civil Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34062
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