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A Systematic Evaluation of Implications of Admission GPA for Transfer Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Two-Year to Four-Year Transfer Programs: Best Practices

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

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Paper Authors


Chris Gordon Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Chris Gordon is an Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Construction, Interim Associate Dean of the School of Engineering, and co-director of the Construction Leadership Institute. In his research, Gordon investigates engineering education and innovation in the construction industry. Gordon earned a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and both a B.S. and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to his doctorate, Gordon’s professional experience included construction management on projects ranging from $25 million to $2.5 billion and project management and product development for an early-stage start-up software company.

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Hasan Sevim Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Dr. Hasan Sevim obtained his B.S. degree in mining engineering in 1974 from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, as the valedictorian of his class. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1978 and 1984, respectively, from Columbia University, New York. In 1984, he joined the College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale as an assistant professor in the Department of Mining Engineering. He served as the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering from 1998 to 2006. He was appointed the Dean of School of Engineering at SIU Edwardsville in August 2006.

Until 2000, most of Dr. Sevim’s publications were in mine systems optimization and open pit mine production planning. After 2000, in parallel with his administrative appointments, he published in engineering education.

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Phillip M Brown Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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Director of Institutional Research & Studies

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The School of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has well established criteria for admission of freshmen to its programs. These criteria were developed based on historical retention data collected in mathematics and science courses. In contrast to freshman admission criteria, transfer student admission criteria lack a sound basis. Currently, a transfer GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) entitles a student to enroll in programs within the School. This rather low GPA has been a source of concern to faculty and administrators as the programs do not want to give false hope to students who may not be ready for rigorous engineering curricula. Therefore, the authors decided to conduct a retention and graduation analysis to determine whether there is in fact a critical transfer GPA that would indicate that a student is likely to succeed in programs within the School. This paper reports results from an investigation of the most effective use of transfer GPA for to make admission and retention decisions regarding incoming transfer students. Prior to this investigation, there has been limited information about the retention and graduation of students who enter the School with a low transfer GPA. For the purpose of this study, the authors developed and analyzed a database encompassing seven year of enrollment beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year. In this analysis, transfer students are categorized in five different transfer credit hour categories: 1) under 30; 2) 30 to 60; 3) over 60 without degree; 4) over 60 with a prior associate degree; and 5) over 60 with a prior baccalaureate degree. This paper describes data-driven evaluation of implications of transfer GPA as an admission standard using retention and graduation performance. This paper reports the critical GPA along with 1) transfer shock analysis; 2) expected institutional GPA in the first two terms for a given transfer GPA; 3) graduation rates of students in each of the five categories; 4) performance of female and under-represented minority students as compared to the rest of the transfer student population; and 5) recommended future studies.

Gordon, C., & Sevim, H., & Brown, P. M. (2016, June), A Systematic Evaluation of Implications of Admission GPA for Transfer Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26458

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