Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Evaluating an Undergraduate Research Program to Improve Retention of 2 + 2 Engineering Students
An increasingly common pathway for students to obtain an engineering degree is through a 2 + 2 model. At a State University, this model has been implemented through students spending their first two years at a regional campus and then transferring to the main campus to finish their degrees. Although there are several programs in place to help with this transition, recent data show a significantly higher attrition rate for transfer students compared to their counterparts who started at the main campus. In 2015, the University Administration and College of Engineering established an undergraduate research program in an attempt to improve retention of transfer students. This program is an 8-week research experience for regional campus STEM students that includes working with a faculty for 6 weeks at their home campus and spending 2 weeks with a faculty on the main campus. In addition, students engage in professional development and team building activities. To date, over 280 regional campus students have participated in the undergraduate research program during its five-year tenure. Additional goals of the program include broadening education for regional campus students, increasing the number of regional campus students entering graduate studies, and promoting mutual awareness and collaboration among faculty across the state. Anecdotal evidence has indicated a positive effect on the retention of student participants who transfer to finish degrees at the main campus. To confirm this positive correlation, a longitudinal statistical study was conducted to examine the retention rate of the students who participated in the undergraduate research program with that of other 2 + 2 students. Results from this study have the potential to confirm an undergraduate research experience as a viable strategy to improve retention of students participating in the 2 + 2 pathway to an engineering degree.
Howard-Reed, C., & Wu, J. X., & Hostetler, E. A. (2020, June), Evaluating a Multi-Campus Undergraduate Research Program to Improve Retention of 2+2 Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34592
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