June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and the learning center at the university collaborated to bring academic support to a freshman level introductory course by establishing a pilot Supplemental Instruction (SI) program. Intending to aid students in adjusting to the university experience and be successful in their first year, the SI program provides non-remedial review and study skill development in the form of optional weekly discussion sessions. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data aid in understanding the efficacy of the newly implemented SI program in the ECE department. Comparisons of course grades and passing rates reveal that fall 2015 course grades did not vary much between the SI-attending and non-attending groups, though students who attended SI had slightly improved passing rates compared to the non-attending group and the prior fall. Comparisons for the spring 2016 semester reveal that the course grades for the SI-attending group were improved yet not statistically significant; while the overall passing rate was not affected for the spring semester, a considerably larger proportion of SI attendees successfully passed the course than non-attendees. The differences in performance outcomes observed between the fall and spring semesters are potentially explained by the differences in the student populations. The spring enrollment is roughly ten percent of the fall enrollment and has a larger proportion of transfer students, those retaking the course, and first generation students. Studying the demographics and performance outcomes of the student population choosing to attend SI allows program administrators to better understand the potential of the SI program to help students find success in the ECE department.
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