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Board 24: Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus: Progress after Year 2

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29989

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Catherine Cohan Pennsylvania State University

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Catherine Cohan holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has been a research psychologist for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include engineering education, retention of underrepresented students, assessment, and measurement. She is currently the Research Associate on the Sustainable Bridges NSF IUSE project (Amy Freeman, PI). Previously, she was the project coordinator the the Toys'n MORE NSF STEP project (Renata Engel, PI).

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Pradip K. Bandyopadhyay

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Amy L. Freeman Ph.D. Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7484-0729

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Amy L. Freeman holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering and a Ph.D. in Workforce Education. She has a been a practitioner of engineering education 17 years and is a member of several organizations and networks that support access and inclusion to STEM education. Dr. Freeman served as Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, and provided administrative direction for the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion through cultivation of partnerships with corporations, alumni, university constituents and organizational alliances. Currently, she is Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at Tufts University.

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Ryan Scott Hassler

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Mark William Johnson Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus

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Mark W. Johnson is Professor of Mathematics with primary research areas in Algebraic Topology and Category Theory, as
well as an ongoing interest in preparing future engineers, especially those from under-represented groups, for the mathematical challenges inherent in their chosen degree.

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Mikhail Kagan Pennsylvania State University, Ogontz Campus

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Mikhail (Mike) Kagan is an assistant professor of physics at Penn State Abington. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Kagan's research interests are diverse and include Quantum Gravity and Cosmology, Physical Applications of Graph Theory, as well as Physics Education. Dr. Kagan has over twenty years of experience teaching math, physics an astronomy at middle, high school and university level. For the last several years, he has implemented Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) in his classes.

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Ann Marie Schmiedekamp

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Peter J. Shull Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus

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Dr. Peter J. Shull is an associate professor of engineering at Penn State University. He received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in mechanical engineering and his graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University in engineering science. Dr. Shull’s research has two main foci—nondestructive evaluation methods as applied to process control (NDE) and pedagogical methodology. Dr. Shull’s pedagogical efforts include meta-cognitive strategy learning to improve student academic success, an interest in women’s issues within the engineering environment, integrated, experiential techniques to improve engineering students’ social emotional development as applied to teamwork and communication, and program assessment methods that minimize stakeholders’ efforts while maximizing the effectiveness of the measurement tool.

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus study (NSF IUSE #1525367) is to increase the number of underrepresented students (i.e., African American, Native American, Hispanic students) in undergraduate Engineering majors. By doing so we strive to address the urgent need to expand the pool of undergraduates who earn a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degree. This paper describes progress after two years into the project.

Goals: To improve retention in Engineering, this study will conduct academic enrichment programs for racially underrepresented Engineering students at three points in their career at the Pennsylvania State University—entering first-year students, rising sophomores, and rising juniors. The goals of the study are to (a) increase retention in Engineering among racially underrepresented students in the Pennsylvania State University system, (b) develop long-term sustainability plans for these enrichment programs, and (c) compare retention rates in Engineering depending on whether students attended a summer academic enhancement program at the regional campus they attend in the fall or at a different campus and whether they transfer between campuses within the University system (native students vs. 2+2 students).

Method: Students in the summer bridge programs for incoming first-year students and rising sophomores attend 4- or 6-week summer programs that provide math-intensive curriculum, the application of Engineering concepts, and the development of a cohort learning community. The summer bridge programs for incoming first-year students consist of 5 summer bridge programs across 4 campuses in the University system. For the summer bridge program for rising sophomores, Engineering students from any campus in the University system go to the flagship campus. To assess the effectiveness of these academic enhancement programs for undergraduate Engineering majors, we examine math course grades, fall semester grade point average, grade point average at the end of the academic year, and enrollment status for students who participated in our programs and a matched sample of students who did not participate. To date, we are tracking the academic progress of two cohorts of first-year students from summer 2016 and 2017 and one cohort of rising sophomores from summer 2017.

Results: Statistical comparisons between the first cohort of first-year students and their matched comparisons indicated no differences on math course grades, grade point average, or retention after their first year. Analyses are pending for the 2017 fall semester grades and retention for the second cohort of first-year students and the first cohort of rising sophomores.

Conclusions: Conclusions are pending following obtaining 2017 fall semester grade information. After combining the first and second cohorts of first-year students, we anticipate that the larger sample size and statistical power will facilitate the observation of group differences.

Cohan, C., & Bandyopadhyay, P. K., & Freeman, A. L., & Hassler, R. S., & Johnson, M. W., & Kagan, M., & Schmiedekamp, A. M., & Shull, P. J. (2018, June), Board 24: Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus: Progress after Year 2 Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29989

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