August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 21, 2021
This work in progress compares perspectives of engineering faculty at Virginia Community Colleges (VCCS) and Virginia Tech around first year engineering (FYE) learning outcomes, foundational skills, matriculation into major degree programs, and equivalency across transfer programs. Research indicates that vertical engineering transfer students take longer to complete a bachelor’s degree than non-transfer students. One of the reasons for this lag in time to degree is the sequential nature of required coursework towards engineering degrees and missing prerequisites at the time of transfer. Community colleges that are able to develop transferable FYE courses allow students to meet prerequisites and follow a path similar to non-transfer students, thus, in theory, providing a lower cost pathway to a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Recently the VCCS revised learning outcomes for two sequential foundational engineering courses to improve transferability. This shift attempted to integrate the priorities and practices of multiple FYE programs in the development of a new two course sequence that articulates to the public postsecondary Virginia institutions. Although these courses are theoretically equivalent according to the articulation agreement, the setting, student population, and resources are not always equal across programs, and therefore students’ experiences may vary.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze learning outcomes across postsecondary institutions in Virginia and to compare faculty perceptions of the FYE courses from community colleges and a large four-year receiving institution. We conduct a series of semi-structured interviews with faculty from both types of institutions and complete a thematic analysis to highlight learning outcome priorities, teaching strategies, and relationships between the different types of institutions. Our document analysis looks across existing FYE programs in postsecondary institutions in Virginia to explore common goals, requirements, and the intricacies of transfer partnerships. This study builds on existing research to develop a more holistic understanding of FYE learning outcomes across postsecondary institutions regarding transfer student coursework and matriculation into degree programs. FYE faculty and administrators should consider the broader implications of changes in coursework, policies, and practices and how these changes impact their future engineering transfer students.
Richardson, A., & Moyer, S., & Knight, D. B. (2021, August), Alignment of first year engineering course learning outcomes as perceived by faculty at a four-year institution and its transfer community college Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38366
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