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Does Problem Solving Recitation Session Improve Student Retention And Success?

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.442.1 - 7.442.9



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Amir Karimi

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Main Menu Session 2793

Does Problem Solving Recitation Session Improve Student Retention and Success?

Amir Karimi The University of Texas at San Antonio


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an urban, state-supported university and the engineering programs at this institution have been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for under-represented groups of minorities. The engineering curricula for BS degree programs were recently revised. The major objectives of the curriculum revisions were to enhance the educational quality of the program and to improve student retention and success. Recitation hours have been added to a number of foundation engineering courses having large failure rates in the past. The implementation of the recitation sessions began in Fall 2000. The recitation hours have been are conducted in a small classroom setting to help student learn problem solving techniques and encourage cooperative learning. The enrollment for each recitation section is limited to 20-25 students. No new materials are covered in the recitation periods. Instructors use this time to answer questions, solve example problems, involve students in cooperative learning, and introduce application of appropriate computer software. This paper will analyze student retention and success since the implementation of recitation sessions. It will compare the grade distributions for pre and post implementation of recitation hours.

I. Introduction

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), founded in 1969, is located in the eighth largest city (with a population of 1,114,000 1) and 30th largest metropolitan area in the country. It serves the San Antonio metropolitan area and the broader region of South Texas. UTSA is the third largest component university in the University of Texas System and has been one of the state's fastest growing public universities for much of the last decade. In Fall 1982, the student enrollment was approximately 10,000 and in Fall 2000 that figure reached 19,883 (17,425 undergraduate and 2,458 graduate student), an increase of 5.6% over previous year. The University provide access and opportunity for large numbers of historically under-served students. More than 50 percent of UTSA's students come from groups underrepresented in higher education. Hispanics are the dominant group within the under-represented minorities. The undergraduate students at UTSA are typically older than the traditional students in other institutions. The average age of undergraduate students at UTSA is slightly over 25. Many students are the first in their family to attend a college or university.

The Division of Engineering was established in September 1982 offering BS degrees in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering (CE, EE, and ME). The first graduating class was in

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Karimi, A. (2002, June), Does Problem Solving Recitation Session Improve Student Retention And Success? Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10873

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