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Analysis of the Impact of Participation in a Summer Bridge Program on Mathematics Course Performance by First-Semester Engineering Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.183.1 - 24.183.14

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Paper Authors


John R. Reisel University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Dr. John R. Reisel is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He serves as associate director of the Center for Alternative Fuels, and co-director of the Energy Conversion Efficiency Lab. In addition to research into engineering education, his research
efforts focus on combustion and energy utilization. Dr. Reisel was a 2005 recipient of the UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, a 2000 recipient of the UWM College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Teaching Award, and a 1998 recipient of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. Dr. Reisel is a member of ASEE, ASME, the Combustion Institute, and SAE. Dr. Reisel received his B.M.E. degree from Villanova University in 1989, his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1991, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1994.

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Marissa Jablonski University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Marissa R. Jablonski is a PhD Student of Civil/Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She serves as program coordinator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded FORTE (Fostering Opportunities for Tomorrow's Engineers) Program at UWM. Jablonski is focusing her dissertation on sustainable oxidation of textile wastewater and is working to create small-scale wastewater treatment units for cottage textile industries. She trained at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur, India where she worked on biodegradation of azo dye intermediates. Jablonski served as Co-chair of UWM’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders for 2 years beginning with its inception in 2007 and continues to help design and implement water distribution projects in Guatemala as a mentor. Jablonski was a 2012 recipient of NSF’s EAPSI fellowship in China; a 2008 recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention; the 2008 recipient of the Wisconsin Water Association Scholarship; and the 2007-2013 recipient of the UWM Chancellor’s Graduate Student Awards. Jablonski is a member of ASEE, EWB, SWE, and ASCE. She received her BS degree in Natural Resources and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2003, her MS degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from UWM in 2009 and will receive her PhD in Civil/Environmental Engineering from UWM in 2014.

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Arash Kialashaki University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Arash Kialashaki is an energy researcher and a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in energy systems and another master’s degree in mechanical engineering. In addition, he is a lead student in Industrial Assessment Center in UWM.
Mr. Kialashaki has the experience of working as a member of research group on energy analysis projects like "Transportation Data Book", and “Impact of Extension of CNG on the Energy Consumption in Transportation Sector”. Moreover, he experienced working as an energy engineer in industry for several years. He has four years teaching experience at undergraduate level. As an instructor at UWM, he has continuously taught a range of courses including Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Basic Engineering Thermodynamics, Basic Heat Transfer and How Things Work.
He has written several conferences and journal papers and is currently a member of Association of Energy Engineers.

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Ethan V. Dupe-Munson University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


Hossein Hosseini University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Hoessein Hosseini is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) .He received his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Iowa in 1982. Dr. Hosseini’s expertise is in the areas of Computer Networks, Computer Architecture, Fault-Tolerance, Distributed and Parallel Computing. He is the founder and Co-Director of the Computer Networks Laboratory at UWM. Dr. Hosseini has published over 120 research papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. One of his co-authored papers has won the Best Paper Award. He has published two book chapters. He is the co-recipient of a patent in the field of Computer Networks. He has received funding from NSF and industry in support of his research and education. He has supervised nine PhD and over 60 MS students. Dr. Hosseini is an internationally known figure. He has served on the editorial board of a journal and on the program committee of several international conferences. He regularly reviews research papers for various journals and conference proceedings and textbooks for book publishers. Dr. Hosseini has played a leading role in the development of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Programs at UWM. His efforts include the development of the new BS degree program in Computer Engineering, the initiation of the Computer Science program accreditation by the ABET, and the growth and expansion of curricula in Computer Architecture and Computer Networks. Dr. Hosseini has extensive administrative experiences. He served as the Computer Science chair (department co-chair) from 2002 to 2012. He has served on important committees such as College of Engineering and Applied Science Strategic Planning Committee, Division of Natural Sciences Executive Committee, and UWM Senate.

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Analysis of the Impact of Participation in a Summer Bridge Program on Mathematics Course Performance by First-Semester Engineering StudentsAbstractAs part of an NSF-supported project, a summer bridge program for incoming engineeringand computer science freshmen was conducted each summer between 2009 and 2012.The primary purpose of this program was to improve the mathematics course placementfor incoming students whose initial placement as determined by a math placementexamination was below Calculus I. The students retake the university’s math placementexamination at the end of the bridge program to determine if they may enroll into a moreadvanced mathematics course. The immediate goal of the program is to improve themath placement of the students, but it is important in evaluating the success of theprogram to consider the performance of the students in their Fall semester math courses.The mathematics portion of the bridge program centers on using the ALEKS softwarepackage for targeted, self-guided learning. The program took place exclusively in an on-campus format, and also featured a required residential component and additionalengineering activities for the students. The program’s duration was 4 weeks, andstudents were expected to improve their math placement by at least one semester. It isexpected that improving their math placement will reduce the student’s time-to-graduation which should in turn improve retention rates and eventually graduation rates.Data from the four cohorts have been collected and analyzed to judge the effectiveness ofthe program with respect to both improving the students’ math placement and thestudents’ performance in future math courses. A lower percentage of students (69%)improved their math course placement in the 2009 cohort, but all categories of bridgeprogram students performed as well as the class average in the Fall 2009 semester. Forthe 2010-2012 cohorts, students succeeded at improving their math placement at a higherrate (83%-88%), and in general were able to successfully complete their Fall mathcourses at a similar rate to students who did not participate in the bridge program. Thissuggests that the bridge program is not inappropriately placing large numbers of studentsinto courses for which they are not prepared.The changes made over the years in the program are described in the paper, and theperformance of the students both in the bridge program and in their First-semester mathcourses are thoroughly described and analyzed.

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