New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Traditionally, the drop-out rate for students majoring in chemical engineering is the highest during the sophomore year. This can often be attributed to numerous factors including student interest in the major, student preparedness, knowledge of what chemical engineering is, and overall technical ability. To address this, the AIChE student chapter at Louisiana State University has developed a two-day series of professional development, academic, and team-building workshops hosted by upperclassmen students and sponsored by local industrial partners to better prepare rising freshman for their sophomore year in chemical engineering. Having completed many of their required pre-requisites, prospective students are about to embark upon their first core courses in the chemical engineering discipline in addition to starting to apply for internship and co-op opportunities. The camp first introduces students to the department through facilities tours and engagement with faculty and upperclassmen. During these faculty engagement sessions the students have an opportunity to meet their courses’ instructors, who offer tips for success and answer questions before any coursework begins. Upperclassmen serve as student mentors during the camp, offering informal advice and support. The camp also serves as a point of contact between students and local industry representatives recruiting intern and co-op candidates. Additionally, these local industry representatives offer valuable career-formation advice to the students by hosting resume review and mock interview sessions. Lastly, the camp builds relationships and camaraderie among the rising freshman. The students are divided into teams and required to complete a small research project in chemical engineering science or design. In completing this small project together, students grow more comfortable working in a collaborative team environment while gaining familiarity with chemical engineering fundamentals such as process safety. The relationships formed during the camp aim to give sophomore students a supportive network of classmates, student mentors, faculty members, and industry professionals in order to promote retention and student success in the chemical engineering curriculum. Here, we present our findings from the first two years of offering this camp including preliminary data correlating camp participation with student performance in their sophomore year courses and overall retention in the major. While preliminary in nature, the data collected thus far indicates that students who participate in the camp feel better prepared for their sophomore year which has led to enhanced course performance, greater involvement in the department, and a higher success rate in obtaining summer internships.
Whittaker, K. P., & Kirtikar, A., & Melvin, A. T. (2016, June), ChemE Camp: A Two-Day Workshop to Increase Student Preparedness for Their Sophomore Year in Chemical Engineering (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26493
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015