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Designing A Freshman Program To Support Student Success

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

10.417.1 - 10.417.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/14521

Download Count

12

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Paper Authors

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Warren Myers

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Jack Byrd

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Robin Hensel

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Designing a Freshman Program to Support Student Success Robin A. M. Hensel, Jack Byrd, Jr., Warren R. Myers, College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University

Abstract The WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has implemented several programmatic changes to the freshman year experience in an effort to support students in their attempt to attain the College’s high academic standards and to improve retention of students from the freshman to the sophomore year. This paper describes several of these program modifications, presents an analysis of the data indicating the results of these changes, and makes recommendations for further study.

The changes made to the freshman program include the creation of two engineering tracks, a traditional track for those prepared to enter Calculus 1 in the first semester of their freshman year and a second engineering track designed for those students not prepared to enter Calculus 1 in their first semester, the development of a freshman orientation class, the requirement of participation in weekly study lab sessions, the implementation of a five-day Calculus 1 course comprised of three lectures and two recitations, and the enforcement of the requirement to attain a C or better in calculus before entering a specific engineering discipline major. The orientation class teaches freshman academic success skills and includes weekly communication with students’ parents.

Data trends in the last two years indicate that these changes had a significant effect on the retention of engineering students from their freshman year to the sophomore year and improved the freshman class GPA. Analysis of academic performance data has also indicated additional areas for continued improvement in placing and advising students, as well as in supporting and tracking student success.

Introduction Attracting and retaining qualified students is essential to surviving and thriving in current enrollment-driven environments. The WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has implemented several programmatic changes to the freshman year experience in an effort to support students in their attempt to attain the College’s high academic standards and to improve retention of students from the freshman to the sophomore year.

Benchmarking/Baseline Data In the academic year 2000/01, of the 447 incoming freshmen, the median SAT-Math score was 590 and the median ACT-Math score was 26. At that time, West Virginia had not yet implemented its PROMISE Scholarship program; there was no freshman orientation course and no College-sponsored academic support. Freshman retention, defined as the percentage of freshmen who transferred to a discipline major or to sophomore status at the end of the second semester, was 66.7%; the average GPA of freshmen engineering students was 2.48; and 48

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Myers, W., & Byrd, J., & Hensel, R. (2005, June), Designing A Freshman Program To Support Student Success Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14521

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: © 2005 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