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A Summer Calculus Experience to Encourage Development of Community and Self-efficacy Building of Civil Engineering Students

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: S-STEM 3

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34062

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34062

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Mary Katherine Watson The Citadel Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1718-5825

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Dr. Mary Katherine Watson is currently an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. Prior to joining the faculty at The Citadel, Dr. Watson earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. She also has BS and MS degrees in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Dr. Watson’s research interests are in the areas of engineering education and biological waste treatment.

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Simon Thomas Ghanat P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Simon Ghanat is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel (Charleston, S.C.). He received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University. His research interests are in Engineering Education and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. He previously taught at Bucknell University and Arizona State University.

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Timothy Aaron Wood The Citadel Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3926-7314

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Timothy A Wood is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. He acquired a Bachelor's in Engineering Physics Summa Cum Laude with Honors followed by Civil Engineering Master's and Doctoral degrees from Texas Tech University. His technical research focuses on the intersection of soil-structure interaction and structural/geotechnical data. He encourages students pushing them toward self-directed learning through reading, and inspiring enthusiasm for the fields of structural and geotechnical engineering. Dr. Wood aims to recover the benefits of classical-model, literature-based learning in civil engineering education.

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William J. Davis P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3812-8654

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William J. Davis is D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering and Dept. Head of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. His academic experience includes transportation infrastructure planning and design, infrastructure resilience, traffic operations, highway safety, and geographic information systems. His research interests include constructing spatial databases for better management of transportation infrastructure, improving transportation design, operation, safety and construction, understanding long-term effects of urban development patterns, and advancing active living within the built environment for improved public health. He teaches courses in interchange design, transportation engineering, highway design. engineering management, geographic information systems, and land surveying. He has served in numerous leadership positions in ITE, ASCE and TRB.

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Kevin C. Bower The Citadel

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Dr. Kevin Bower is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Associate Provost for Academic Operations at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Bower’s teaching research interests are in improving active learning environments and the development of classroom pedagogy to improve moral development in engineering students.

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Tara Hornor The Citadel

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Dr. Tara Hornor currently serves an Associate Professor in the Zucker Family School of Education with a joint appointment to The Citadel’s Department of Leadership Studies. She previously served as Associate Provost for Planning, Assessment, and Evaluation and Dean of Enrollment Management at The Citadel from 2008-2019, providing leadership for the institution’s strategic planning, accreditation, assessment, institutional research, admissions, financial aid, and graduate college offices. Dr. Hornor holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arizona and master’s degrees in school counseling, instructional design, and human resource management. She is also a 2014 graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) and a 2009 graduate of Harvard University’s Performance Assessment in Higher Education Institute.

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Ronald W. Welch P.E. The Citadel

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Ron Welch (P.E.) received his B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Military Academy in 1982. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1990 and 1999, respectively. He became the Dean of Engineering at The Citadel on 1 July 2011. Prior to his current position, he was the Department Head of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler from Jan 2007 to June 2011 as well as served in the Corps of Engineers for over 24 years including eleven years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy.

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Abstract

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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