June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.120.1 - 23.120.13
Engineering Matriculation Practices: A Benchmarking StudyContribution: Researchers have studied first-year engineering programs in various ways,including multiple surveys, but have yet to develop a taxonomic system for describing howstudents matriculate to a discipline in all engineering colleges. Such a descriptive study is ingreat demand. Institutions seeking to benchmark, improve the method they are using, orimplement a new method will find this a useful reference.Methods: We canvassed all 403 US undergraduate ABET EAC-accredited engineering programsto determine the universe of practices leading to direct contact with a specific engineering major.Data was gathered from university, college, and departmental websites and through telephonecalls to admissions and engineering personnel. In addition, in-depth interviews were conductedwith College of Engineering representatives at the 11 institutions that comprise the MultipleInstitution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD)partnership. These semi-structured interviews determined: 1) who makes the admissions decisionfor engineering students; 2) at what point may students declare an engineering major; 3) theformal mechanism by which students are advised; and 4) support programs that are available forfirst year students.Findings: Our preliminary taxonomy consists of four primary matriculation modes: Formal First-Year Engineering Program (FYE) – A first year engineering program “owns” the students until they have met the requirements to matriculate into their disciplinary major. Ownership includes advising and the teaching of an Introduction to Engineering sequence. Direct Matriculation with required General Engineering coursework (DM-GE) –Students enroll in a specific engineering major when they matriculate and are generally advised there. Students are required to take an introduction to engineering course or sequence. Direct Matriculation without required General Engineering coursework (DM-noGE) – Students enroll in a specific engineering major when they matriculate and are generally advised there. The first engineering course that students take is in the discipline. Post-General Education (PGE) – Students complete their general education requirements before matriculating into an engineering major. Advising is done outside of the College of Engineering.A hybrid of the two DM modes exists in some programs, where some engineering majors requirean introduction to engineering and others do not. Undecided students at DM institutions may alsoenter engineering without declaring a specific engineering major. We call these students“undesignated engineering” or DMU.From the interviews we learned: The college influence on admissions ranges from none at all to setting the admissions standards for engineering students. However, none makes admissions decisions directly. DM students may declare a major when they enter the institution; if they are undecided, they may declare one at any time as long as they are in good academic standing. Students in FYE programs may matriculate into a major upon satisfactory completion of first year engineering requirements, normally at the end of the second semester. Undesignated students in most DM programs are advised centrally in engineering.
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