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Engineering Boot Camp: An Intense, Transformative Program for Incoming Freshmen

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division: Student Success

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Ann-Marie Vollstedt University of Nevada, Reno

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Ann-Marie Vollstedt is a lecturer for the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Dr. Vollstedt completed her dissertation at UNR, which focused on exploring the use of statistical process control methods to assess course changes in order to increase student learning in engineering. Dr. Vollstedt teaches courses in engineering design as well as statics and continues to conduct research in engineering education.

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This complete evidence-based practice describes a new summer boot camp program with objectives to prepare students for the rigors of university courses and increase student retention. This boot camp is a subset of a university wide program specifically for students entering the College of Engineering. It is not a remedial course and all incoming freshmen engineering students are encouraged to apply. This is an intense week-long course requiring students to attend lectures, complete homework assignments and projects, take exams, and partake in skills sessions meant to help students adjust to university life and increase their success in university level courses and thus retention in the college of engineering. This program is assessed through evaluation of university retention data, student grade point averages, first semester math and engineering course grades, and surveys distributed at the end of the program. Preliminary data analysis confirms positive results for boot camp participants. In 2016, retention from first to second year of college was up by approximately 11%, and on a 4.0 grade scale, first semester math grades are about 0.5 points higher over non-participants. 2017 survey results show that after completing boot camp, 94% of participants felt prepared for their first semester classes, 97% felt confident about their freshmen year, and 96% are confident in their ability to do well in their major.

Vollstedt, A. (2018, June), Engineering Boot Camp: An Intense, Transformative Program for Incoming Freshmen Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30404

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