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Engineering Calculus Bridge Program Success: Comparing Variation Results

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Mathematics

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/p.26624

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26624

Download Count

152

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Paper Authors

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Sandra Nite Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0181-1150

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Sandra Nite, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at Aggie STEM, Department of Teaching, Learning, & Culture and Senior Lecturer in Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University, where she has taught 10 different courses in mathematics and mathematics education. She has served on several committees in the mathematics department, including course development for teacher education in mathematics. Her research agenda includes engineering calculus success, including high school preparation for college. Previously, she taught 8 additional courses at the college level and 13 different high school courses in mathematics and science. She has worked with teacher professional development for over 20 years, and served as mathematics curriculum coordinator for 7 years. She works with teachers from all corners of Texas with teacher quality grants, including a number of teachers in the juvenile justice schools.

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G. Donald Allen

biography

Jim Morgan Charles Sturt University

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Jim Morgan is the father of two daughters and the spouse of an engineer. Before joining Charles Sturt University as Professor of Engineering and Inaugural Course Director in 2015, he was on the faculty in civil engineering at Texas A&M for over 30 years. Jim has been active in the freshman engineering program at A&M for nearly 20 years; was an active participant in the NSF Foundation Coalition from 1993 to 2003; also has received funding for his engineering education research from the Department of Education FIPSE program and from the National Science Foundation CCLI program.
He is active in the American Society for Engineering Education, is past chair of the Freshman Programs Division, currently serves on the steering committee. In addition to his teaching in engineering, Jim served several years as Co-Director of the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program in the Center for Public Leadership at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service; and also served as director of Aggie STEM with funding from the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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Ali Bicer Texas A&M University

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Robert M. Capraro Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8868-4432

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Robert M. Capraro, is Co-Director of Aggie STEM, Director of STEM Collaborative for Teacher Professional Learning, and Professor Mathematics Education in the Department of Teaching Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University. Dr. Capraro's expertise is applied research in school settings, program evaluation, the teacher as change agent for STEM school improvement, and STEM student achievement. He recently received the best paper award from the International Conference on Engineering Education where he and two colleagues presented their work related to the Aggie STEM project. He is currently involved in research in four school districts and more than 20,000 students and 80 teachers. His editorial work includes Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal, School Science and Mathematics, and Middle Grades Research Journal and the Research Advisory Committee for the Association of Middle Level Education. He was selected as a minority scholar for 2007 by the Educational Testing Service and served as president of the Southwest Educational Research Association. He is the author or co-author of three books, several book chapters and more than 100 articles on mathematics education, quantitative research methods, and teacher education published in such venues as Journal of Mathematics Education, International Journal for Studies in Mathematics Education, Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development, LEARNing Landscapes, Special Issue: Mind, Brain and Education, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, European Journal of Psychology of Education, The Journal of Mathematical Sciences and Mathematics Education, Urban Review, Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, Educational Researcher, Cognition and Instruction, Educational and Psychological Measurement. He recently was awarded a $400,000 dollar grant - - continued support by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to continue his work with developmental education bringing his total external funding to ~ 7 million.

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Abstract

The need for a diverse engineering workforce requires the recruitment and retention of university students from all ethnicities and both genders. Engineering calculus proficiency is critical to success in most engineering majors. The Department of Mathematics at XXX University created a bridge program to support incoming freshmen by improving their mathematics understanding and skills. The prerequisite for enrolling in the first engineering calculus course was to answer correctly at least 22 of 33 questions on the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE). In addition to the online practice problems, there was a synchronous online portion of 36 hours with a tutor. The goal of the personalized precalculus program (PPP) was to improve a student’s mathematics understanding and skills sufficiently to meet the cut score on the MPE, allowing him or her to enroll in the first engineering calculus course during the first semester. A requirement for enrolling in the first engineering course was successful completion or concurrent enrollment in the first engineering calculus course. The program has been successful in improving student scores on the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE). Convincing students who were weak in mathematics to enroll and participate fully in the program has been an ongoing challenge. It was hypothesized that more students might participate fully if the duration of the bridge program were reduced. Therefore, after four years of providing the course over a 6-week period in the summer, a change in the format was implemented. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether participants in the 6-week program or the 3-week program improved MPE scores more and which group fared better in the first engineering calculus course.

Convincing students who were weak in mathematics to participate in the program has been an ongoing challenge. It was hypothesized that more students might participate fully if the duration of the bridge program were reduced. Therefore, after four years of providing the course over a 6-week period in the summer, a change in the format was implemented. Rather than meeting with the tutor for 6 hours a week for 6 weeks, the participant met with the tutor for 12 hours a week for 3 weeks. The purpose of this paper is to answer the research questions: 1) Did the 6-week or the 3-week program increase MPE scores more substantially? 2) Did participants of the 6-week or 3-week program perform better in their first college mathematics course?

Nite, S., & Allen, G. D., & Morgan, J., & Bicer, A., & Capraro, R. M. (2016, June), Engineering Calculus Bridge Program Success: Comparing Variation Results Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26624

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