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Developing a Web-based Advising Application for an Engineering Program

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2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting


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Publication Date

November 12, 2021

Start Date

November 12, 2021

End Date

November 13, 2021

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Mahbub K Ahmed P.E. Southern Arkansas University

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Dr. Mahbub Ahmed is an associate professor of engineering at Southern Arkansas University. He completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas (El Paso) in 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He completed his masters in Industrial engineering from Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas. He has worked part-time as a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso as well. Prior to joining the Southern Arkansas faculty as a full-time Assistant Professor in 2012, Dr. Ahmed taught at Georgia Southern University for four years. His research interests include combustion, computational fluid dynamics, 3D printing, and engineering education.

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Kendra J Ahmed Southern Arkansas University

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Kendra Ahmed obtained her BBA in Economics from the University of Texas-El Paso, her MS in Computer and Information Science from Southern Arkansas University, and her MBA in Supply Chain Management from Southern Arkansas University. Since 2014 she has worked as an adjunct professor at Southern Arkansas University. She has taught a wide variety of computer science-related courses as well as some industrial technology courses. Her research interests include instructional methods, females in STEM, and STEM education. She previously has published papers on females in STEM, engineering education, STEM education, and instructional methods.

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Efficient academic advising is essential for college students regardless of major. For a successful college experience, academic advising is needed to build a solid foundation. Students receive guidance through advising sessions so they can stay on track to graduate on time. To make the advising process the most effective, computer or web-based tools are used to make course plans for students at many institutions. An effective advising tool as well as the proper guidance from an adviser not only enhances the quality of education for students in four-year degree programs but also helps to ensure the success of the institution overall. There are many tools available in academia developed by both commercial businesses and individuals in academia. In the current research, an innovative web-based advising tool has been developed and successfully used to advise students in a mechanical engineering-focused program at Southern Arkansas University, where this web app has been specifically customized for this curriculum. The application takes the necessary input, such as a student’s ACT Math score, the courses the student completed, and the courses the student is taking currently (if any). Once the required information is entered in the corresponding fields, the application provides a detailed output of semester-wise proposed courses that the student needs to take to graduate on time. The application has options for adding summer courses, reordering specific courses, and changing the anticipated hours per semester. Thus, a student can vary the parameters and create the optimum semester-wise course plan for the remainder of their education at Southern Arkansas University. The adviser can print it for record-keeping in the student’s folder or save it as an electronic pdf file for later use. The application has a user-friendly graphical user interface that shows all courses relevant to the engineering program. Course selections are also color-coded for better visualization purposes. The application can be used at any level, from freshman through senior, and anytime during the year. For example, if the application is used in October, it will assume that Fall is the current semester. Therefore, the application will propose courses for Spring (as the advising semester) as well as for the subsequent semesters until graduation, based on the course offering by the department and the courses the student needs to take to graduate. Also, there is a unique feature that if the user wants to exclude a course or courses from the advising semester, he/she can check the relevant box(es), and the application will provide alternate courses based on the course offerings in the advising semester. The detailed developing process is described in this work.

Ahmed, M. K., & Ahmed, K. J. (2021, November), Developing a Web-based Advising Application for an Engineering Program Paper presented at 2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting, Virtually Hosted by the section.

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