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Comparing First-year Engineering Technology Persisters and Non-persisters

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Student Learning and Teamwork

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.331.1 - 25.331.9



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Paper Authors


Martin John Wagner Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Martin J. Wagner is a graduate student in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. He is working on his master's of science in technology. He is an IT Project Leader for Indiana University. He is also Adjunct Faculty for the IUPUI Kelley School of Business.

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Barbara L Christe Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Barbara Christe is an Associate Professor and Program Director for biomedical engineering technology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Prior to teaching, Christe was a Clinical Engineer at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Conn. She holds a biomedical engineering master’s degree from Rensselaer at Hartford and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University. She is actively engaged in the recruitment and retention of students in the BMET field.

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Eugenia Fernandez Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Eugenia Fernandez is an Associate Professor of computer and information technology and Chair of the Department of Computer, Information & Leadership Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. She is a Fellow of the Mack Center at Indiana University for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning and an Editor of the Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning related to learning with technology.

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Comparing First-Year Engineering Technology Persisters and Non- Persisters.  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education is a growing nationalpriority. “Reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine ofscientific discovery and technological innovation is essential to meeting the challenges ofthis century,” said President Obama. (The White House Office of the Press Secretary, The School of Engineering andTechnology at a large midwestern urban university is committed to the advancement ofSTEM education. Over one-third of graduates in the School of Engineering andTechnology are from the Engineering Technology department. Improvement inengineering technology student retention plays a vital role in campus STEM graduationproduction. Between 2008 and 2010, less than 52% of students who start the programremain after their first year. (B. Christe, personal communication, October 5, 2011).There is not much known on the specific factors that contribute to the gradual loss ofengineering technology majors after their first year in the program. Little research hasbeen generated on improving engineering technology student retention.The purpose of the study is to examine what differences exist between first yearengineering technology majors who continue in the major and those who leave or aredismissed prior to the beginning of the second year. Analyzing the data collected such asmath courses taken previously, specific major, and method of admission will helpdevelop a description of a persisters and non-persisters. The data consists of three sets offull-time freshman engineering technology majors. One group enrolled in the fall of2008 (75 students), the second group enrolled in the fall of 2009 (86 students) and thethird group enrolled in the fall of 2010 (69 students. Understanding the key differenceswill guide faculty in creating possible intervention opportunities in the effort to increaseretention.

Wagner, M. J., & Christe, B. L., & Fernandez, E. (2012, June), Comparing First-year Engineering Technology Persisters and Non-persisters Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21089

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