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CCLI: Evaluation of a Mentoring Program for Delivering Engineering Content to Calculus Students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.276.1 - 23.276.10



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Paper Authors


Jeremiah J. Neubert University of North Dakota

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Dr. Jeremiah Neubert is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Dakota. He conducted research and taught at Cambridge University. Prior to that, Dr. Neubert attended the University of Wisconsin and obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and master’s of science degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. During his time at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Neubert served as a National Science GK-12 fellow where he worked with a team of high school teachers and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop modules for secondary school educators.

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Deborah Worley University of North Dakota

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Naima Kaabouch University of North Dakota


Mohammad Khavanin University of North Dakota

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Dr. Mohammad Khavanin is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of North Dakota.

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CCLI: Evaluation of a Mentoring Program for Delivering Engineering Content to Calculus StudentsBackgroundCurrently, a significant effort is being made to increase persistence in engineering. Researchindicates that most students that leave engineering do so in their first year. Students that leave intheir first year most commonly cite calculus as the reason [1]. To address this problem aprogram has been implemented at Anonymous University which uses engineering content toreinforce the importance of and student interest in calculus concepts [2]. The program isconstructed to be easily implemented with minimal cost and no modifications to the existingcalculus courses. To accomplish this, small group discussions facilitated by a diverse group ofpeer mentors is used to deliver the engineering content.One of the issues with implementing such a program is that there is relatively little researchfocusing on the experience of the mentors. Specifically, there is a need to understand what toolsand knowledge mentors need to maximize the effect they have on students realizing that peermentors require both academic and professional development. This paper will present asummary of a mentor training program and an assessment of its effectiveness. The assessment isconducted during the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012. The instruments created for theassessment measure the preparedness of the mentors and the impact that the mentors have on thestudents.MethodData was collected from the peer mentors and the students participating in the discussions usinga mixed methods approach. There are three primary data collection points for mentors:immediately after mentor training, at the midpoint of the program, and upon completion of theprogram. Data was collected via surveys distributed to mentors at these three key points. Inaddition, individual interviews were conducted upon completion of the program to allow forprobing questions that gave us an in-depth understanding of the mentor experience and thementors’ ability to connect with mentees.The experience of mentees in the program was measured using two instruments. The first wasadministered after the fourth mentor-led discussion. The second, was administered after all of thementor-led study sessions were completed. The instruments measured the mentees attitudestoward the mentors and their feeling of connectedness to engineering.ResultsThe data collected from the mentors and participants indicated that the training program wasimportant and met its objectives. Specifically, the mentors felt prepared to lead discussions withthe students and guide them through the modules. Students also indicated that their experiencewith the mentors was positive. The one area that the mentors impact was limited was connectingstudents to engineering. In the future, the mentor training program will be modified to ensurethat mentors are aware of engineering student groups and work harder to connect students tothese groups. Moreover, the mentors will be encouraged to get mentees to interact socially aswell as academically in an effort to increase their feelings of connectedness.References[1] M. Johnson, S. Sheppard, “Students Entering and Exiting the Engineering Pipeline— Identifying Key Decision Points and Trends,” Proc. of Frontiers in Education Conf., November 2002, pp. S3C-13 – S3C-19.[2] Anonymous

Neubert, J. J., & Worley, D., & Kaabouch, N., & Khavanin, M. (2013, June), CCLI: Evaluation of a Mentoring Program for Delivering Engineering Content to Calculus Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19290

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