June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Two Year College Division
12.611.1 - 12.611.8
ENCOURAGING TRANSFER STUDENTS TO PURSUE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
Mary R. Anderson-Rowland and Caroline VanIngen-Dunn Arizona State University
The Maricopa Engineering Transition Scholars (METS) is a collaborative project to encourage community college students to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or computer science and also to support their transition and matriculation into a Bachelor’s degree program. The project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and co-owned by the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and the Maricopa County Community College District, holds events at the community colleges to interest and support students to study engineering. The program also helps the transition with an orientation program and provides a METS Center to help support the transfer student in the Fulton School. This paper gives a summary of the current use of the METS Center and how it is viewed by the transfer students who gather in it and use it.
Many students choose to attend a community college because they are not sure which major they want to pursue. While they are deciding their future major, they take the opportunity to attend a community college with low tuition fees, small classes, one-on-one interaction with their instructors, easy parking, and classes that easily transfer to a university. This is the situation with many of the 200,000 students who attend one of the ten Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) schools. In several of these schools, classes are available for the students to do the first two years of an engineering or computer science program and to earn an Associate Degree. Past research has shown that 50% of the community college students transferring to the Fulton School of Engineering only decided on a major in engineering or computer science after they were at the community college.1 When the student has chosen a major, a second major decision needs to be made: to go on to a university and to select a university.
Each fall, for many years some 300 students transfer in the fall into the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) with additional students transferring in the spring. Over half of these students transfer from the MCCCD. This decision is not an easy one. The community college students leave a small, friendly environment to major in engineering or computer science at the largest single college campus in the nation with over 53,000 students. On this campus they feel like freshmen all over again: parking is a nightmare, the pace of the classes is fast, the easy courses have already been taken, they don’t know anyone in their classes, it is difficult to break into a study group that has been established for two years, the classes are large, and the location of resources is a mystery.
Anderson-Rowland, M., & Van Ingen-Dunn, C. (2007, June), Encouraging Transfer Students To Pursue A Bachelor's Degree In Engineering And Computer Science Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2872
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