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Engineering Pathways of Nontraditional Students—an Update on NSF Award 1361058

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.636.1 - 26.636.9



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Paper Authors

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Jaqi C. McNeil Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16


Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University and Central Queensland University Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by over $14.5 million from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011. Dr. Ohland is Chair of the IEEE Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE and IEEE.

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Russell Andrew Long Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Engineering Pathways of Nontraditional Students—an Update on NSF Award 1361058  A large‐scale longitudinal study of nontraditional engineering students has provided descriptive information about the access, pathways, and success of nontraditional engineering students. Nontraditional students hold the potential to increase not only the number of engineering students, but also the diversity of the engineering student body. This descriptive study laid the groundwork for a larger study of nontraditional student pathways. The study of nontraditional student pathways will reveal patterns in how nontraditional students choose majors, how they migrate, and where they succeed. This study uses the Multiple‐Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD). MIDFIELD is a longitudinal, multi‐institutional, and multivariate dataset of over 209,737 engineering students. MIDFIELD is large enough to provide a better understanding of nontraditional students in public 4 year universities, identify conditions where they are more numerous and more successful, and explore the conditions that support their success.  Whereas prior research has ignored or masked the contribution of nontraditional students to graduation statistics, this research focuses on nontraditional status and its associated outcomes.  By studying what happens to those nontraditional students in particular, this project will draw attention to the educational outcomes of a population that currently comprises 10% of student enrollment, but represents some of the fastest growing pathways in US higher education.  

McNeil, J. C., & Ohland, M. W., & Long, R. A. (2015, June), Engineering Pathways of Nontraditional Students—an Update on NSF Award 1361058 Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23974

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