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Comparing Student Outcomes From Four Iterations of an Engineering Learning Community

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: First-Year Experiences

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36519

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36519

Download Count

35

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Paper Authors

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Miriam Howland Cummings University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8653-4489

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Miriam Howland Cummings is a PhD candidate in the Education Research Methods program at the University of Colorado Denver. Her work focuses on applying a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods to education contexts, including both K-12 education and higher education.

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Maryam Darbeheshti University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7988-0906

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Dr. Maryam Darbeheshti is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is the PI of a recent NSF S-STEM award that focuses on STEM identity at Urban Universities.

Darbeheshti's primary research is in the area of Multi-phase viscous flows in Fluid Mechanics. She is also involved in First-Year Engineering Program, and created the Engineering Learning Community for First-year students at CU-Denver. is a member of ASME: Society of Mechanical Engineers. She serves as the faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers in the College of Engineering, Design and Computing.

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Gregory Edward Simon University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0325-9010

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William Taylor Schupbach University of Colorado Denver

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Michael S. Jacobson University of Colorado Denver

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Professor of Mathematics for over 40 years, with a keen interest in STEM Education.

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Tom Altman University of Colorado Denver

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Tom Altman received his B.S. degrees in Computer Science and in Mathematics, and M.S. and Ph.D. (1984) in Computer Science, all from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Altman specializes in optimization algorithms, formal language theory, and complex system simulation. He has published over 75 journal, conference, and technical papers. Presently, Dr. Altman is a Professor of Computer Science at CU Denver and has been an active ABET Program Evaluator (CAC) since 2008. His current research focus is on STEM and more specifically, Engineering Education.

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Katherine Goodman University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5235-3372

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Katherine Goodman is assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, and curriculum lead at Inworks, an interdisciplinary innovation lab. Her research focuses on transformative experiences in engineering education. She is currently division chair of the Technological and Engineering Literacy - Philosophy of Engineering Division (TELPhE).

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Abstract

Abstract This study evaluates the impact of learning communities on the retention rate of first-year engineering students. The Engineering Learning Community (ELC) at a large urban university is a program that purposefully recruits talented high school applicants from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. The ELC enrolls these applicants into cohort-specific sections of classes and provides mentoring and additional resources for the students’ freshman year. The results of the first three years of the ELC program was presented at ASEE 2020. Currently in its fourth year, the ELC program has undergone numerous revisions and improvements based upon student and faculty feedback and increased financial resources. The main feature of the fourth year ELC program is the addition of up to $20 K in scholarship from a S-STEM NSF award. Another significant change in the fourth year is the re-design of the mentorship program. COVID-19 arrived in the middle of the spring semester and added its own challenges to the fourth year of ELC program. The impact of COVID-19 on the students’ response to the pandemic has been studied as well. To take a first look at the efficacy of the ELC program over four iterations, current student grade point averages of ELC students from each cohort were compared. We hypothesize that students from cohort 4 will have the highest overall GPA given that they have accessed the most recent iteration of the ELC, which includes scholarship funding, improved student to mentor ratios and a newly redesigned special topics course. Analysis of Variance of GPAs reveals that cohort 4 has a significantly higher GPA after one year in the ELC than cohort 2, but no significant differences between cohort 4 and cohorts 1 and 3. Further analysis shows no significant differences in high school GPA between the cohorts, indicating that the improvements in cohort 4 are not due changes in recruiting practices. Additional research is suggested to compare GPAs and class grades at the end of the freshman year of ELC participation across all cohorts. Alternatively, the GPA of students in all four cohorts will be compared to the GPA of the students that did not participate in ELC program.

Howland Cummings, M., & Darbeheshti, M., & Simon, G. E., & Schupbach, W. T., & Jacobson, M. S., & Altman, T., & Goodman, K. (2021, July), Comparing Student Outcomes From Four Iterations of an Engineering Learning Community Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36519

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