Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The 2016-17 Academic Year constituted the launch of a new S-STEM Scholarship Program designed to provide rising sophomore engineering majors with a smoother transition into the more difficult mathematics and engineering coursework accompanying the typical “sophomore slump.” The overall objective of the program is to increase engineering retention, thereby leading to an increase in the number of STEM graduates prepared to enter the workforce.
The scholarship program takes places over a 12-week summer term in which participants enroll in the first multivariable calculus course, statics, and a professional development course. The professional development course includes four components: 1) curricular content from “Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career” by R. B. Landis, 2) the entire curriculum from “Developing Spatial Thinking” by S. A. Sorby, 3) field trips to area companies utilizing engineering methods in the workplace, and 4) faculty mentorship through faculty participation in the industry visits.
The Summer 2017 program included a cohort of 18 students from various engineering majors. Final course grades indicate an 11% drop-fail-withdraw (DFW) rate from statics, a course that has seen a summer DFW rate varying from 26% to 37% over the past five years. The DFW rate for the multivariable calculus course was 5.5%. As a point of reference, the DFW for the first multivariable calculus has varied from 25%-45% over the last two years. There is no other 12-week summer section of this multivariable calculus course, so a direct DFW rate comparison is not available.
In summary, the first cohort of recipients of this S-STEM Scholarship realized strong academic success, exceeding the performance typically observed in these classes. Additionally, program participants wrote reflection essays describing a profound, if not life-changing, student cohort experience, and positive benefits of the visits to area industries. Many students commented that the summer program far exceeded their expectations.
Evans, K., & Orr, M. K., & Hall, D. E., & Desselles, M. (2018, June), Board 38: S-STEM Summer Scholarship for a Sophomore Bridge: Year 1 in Review Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30020
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