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Engineering Enrollment Retention Improvement by Application of the Wright State Mathematics Education Model

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.585.1 - 22.585.8



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Paper Authors


Byron L. Newberry Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts

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Dr. Byron Newberry is Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Oklahoma Christian University. He holds a B.S.M.E. degree from Oklahoma Christian University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His interests include stress analysis, nonlinear dynamics, structural vibration, and engineering design.

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Richard Miller Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts

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Richard Miller joined the faculty of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma Christian University in 2005 after twelve years of industry experience. Dr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (1987), Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (1989) and Doctor of Philosophy (1999) degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

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Robert Andrew Stevenson Oklahoma Christian University

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Robert Andrew Stevenson is a graduate level Engineering student at Oklahoma Christian University with a bachelors in Mechanical engineering from the same school. For his senior design project he and his team entered the regular class of the SAE Aero Design East competition and won first place in the presentation portion. After completing his masters he plans on entering into industry for a few years and then considering returning to school to pursue his doctorate degree.

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Engineering Enrollment Retention Improvement by Application of the Wright State Mathematics Education Model. At many universities around the country student retention within engineering disciplinesis less than desirable. It has been observed that first year student dropout rates appear tocorrelate to individual performance in first-level calculus courses. In an effort to improvecalculus performance, and thus continuing enrollment, in fall of 2009 ___________________adopted aspects of the Wright State University model for mathematics education by introducingan introductory ‘Foundations of Engineering Mathematics’ course as a prerequisite for first-levelcalculus enrollment. This course consists of both lecture and laboratory periods which aredesigned to strengthen basic algebra and trigonometry skills while also introducing students tofoundational elements in both calculus, differential equations and other higher-levelmathematics. The early part of the course is designed to cover trigonometric and algebraicfundamentals in order that students may review these basics necessary for upper-levelmathematics and engineering courses and present practical engineering applications. The later-half of the class is spent introducing basic concepts for higher-level courses such asdifferentiation, integration, first and second order differential equations and linear algebra.Furthermore, the laboratory is designed to directly complement the lecture portion of the courseas students apply that weeks teaching directly to engineering models. This program inauguratesincoming engineering students by introducing applications of math within multiple disciplines ofengineering. Course success was examined by issuing a mid-term calculus readiness exam designedby the _________________________ mathematics department as well as examining studentfinal class grades in comparison to individual ACT math and ACT composite scores. Afterstudents who participated in the first incarnation of this course in fall 2009 completed their first-level Calculus I course in the following spring, data was collected and student calculus grades aswell as one year retention was compared to years prior. This is a discussion of the results of theprograms implementation as well as notable variables and their possible affects on the coursemodel after its first year of application. Herein also is discussed the possible benefits toengineering education programs as well as improvements adopted for the fall 2010 offering ofthe same Foundations of Engineering Mathematics course.

Newberry, B. L., & Miller, R., & Stevenson, R. A. (2011, June), Engineering Enrollment Retention Improvement by Application of the Wright State Mathematics Education Model Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17866

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