June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
NSF Grantees Poster Session
In this Work-in-Progress paper, we report on the challenges and successes of a large-scale First-Year Engineering and Computer Science Program at an urban comprehensive university, using quantitative and qualitative assessment results. Large-scale intervention programs are especially relevant to comprehensive minority serving institutions (MSIs) that serve a high percentage of first-generation college students who often face academic and socioeconomic barriers. Our program was piloted in 2015 with 30 engineering students, currently enrolls 60 engineering and computer science students, and is expected to grow to over 200 students by Fall 2020. The first-year program interventions include: (i) block schedules for each cohort in the first year; (ii) redesigned project-based introduction to engineering and introduction to computer science courses; (iii) an introduction to mechanics course, which provides students with the foundation needed to succeed in the traditional physics sequence; and (iv) peer-led supplemental instruction (SI) workshops for Calculus, Physics and Chemistry. A faculty mentorship program was implemented to provide additional support to students, but was phased out after the first year. Challenges encountered in the process of expanding the program include administrative, such as scheduling and training faculty and SI leaders; barriers to improvement of math and science instruction; and more holistic concerns such as creating a sense of community and identity for the program. Quantitative data on academic performance includes metrics such as STEM GPA and persistence, along with the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) for physics. Qualitative assessments of the program have used student and instructor surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews to measure relationships among factors associated with college student support and to extract student perspectives on what works best for them. Four years of data tell a mixed story, in which the qualitative effect of the interventions on student confidence and identity is strong, while academic performance is not yet significantly different than that of comparison groups. One of the most significant results of the program is the development of a FYrE Professional Learning Community which includes faculty (both tenure-track and adjunct), department chairs, staff, and administrators from across the campus.
Menezes, G. B., & Allen, E. L., & Ragusa, G., & Schiorring, E., & Nerenberg, P. S. (2019, June), Board 106: Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Large-scale Interventions in a First-year Experience Program Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32177
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