June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Minorities in Engineering
12.686.1 - 12.686.11
EOE First Year Interest Groups: A Success Model for Increasing Retention
Abstract Paper Overview This paper provides an overview of First Year Interest Groups (FIGs) offered by the Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program at The University of Texas at Austin. EOE FIGs serve as our most effective retention program for minority engineering students. Research on the academic development of minority engineering students and participant demographics will be shared. In addition, this paper outlines the curriculum content for weekly FIG seminars and defines marketing strategies used to engage minority engineering students.
Background First Year Interest Groups (FIGs) were created at The University of Texas at Austin in 1998 to help students make the transition from being a high school learner to a university learner. The Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program hosted two EOE FIGs in Fall 2000 and then doubled the number offered in Fall 2003. Currently, the EOE Program offers four major specific EOE FIGs designed to increase the retention rate of first year minority students in the College of Engineering at UT Austin. Offered in the Fall and Spring semesters, EOE’s FIG initiative is a 28 week retention focused cohort program. EOE FIGs assist students with building a support network that includes peers, upper division students, faculty, and professional engineers. Each FIG consists of: (1) 20 to 26 first year engineering students; (2) two FIG Peer Leaders - upper division minority engineering students; (3) one FIG Academic Tutor – upper division minority engineering student; (4) one FIG Facilitator - staff member from the EOE Program. The participants in each FIG cohort share a common class schedule that includes three to four basic sequence courses in the engineering degree plan. One of these courses is a small, one-hour weekly seminar where students can get to know each other. Led by Peer Leaders, Academic Tutors, and EOE staff members, the FIG seminar is designed to help students improve study skills and develop strategies for academic success.
Since Fall 2003, 282 first year students have enrolled in FIGs hosted by the Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program. EOE FIGs serve as our most effective retention program for minority engineering students. Currently, 93 percent of EOE FIG students are still enrolled in the College of Engineering. The retention rate after one year for EOE FIG students is 97 percent, 20 points above the college average. The retention rate after two years for EOE FIG students is 89 percent, 28 points above the college average.
Organization Background The College of Engineering established the Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program in 1970 to promote the recruitment, retention and academic development of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students interested in pursuing careers in engineering. Since that time, EOE has expanded its goals and now seeks to increase the diversity of its student body by supporting students who come from historically underrepresented population groups in Texas or
Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2007, American Society for Engineering Education
Ogilvie, A. (2007, June), Eoe First Year Interest Groups: A Success Model For Increasing Retention Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2986
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