June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.564.1 - 23.564.21
EXCEED: Excellence in Your Engineering Education is a 10-day, residential summer transitionprogram that was designed to improve retention and graduation rates at our university. Theuniversity is a large, public institution in the West with a very diverse student population.However, the university has lower graduation and retention rates for certain student populationsin engineering including under represented groups and first generation college students. Thistransition program was designed to meet five outcomes: acculturate the students to the college ofengineering and the university, enhance math and writing preparation, build community amongstthe cohort of students, enhance study skills, and introduce engineering design principles and anexposure to the engineering field. These outcomes were chosen based on a literature review ofstudent success and through a series of focus groups with freshmen in our college. The focusgroup results, which will be presented in our paper, highlight a number of challenges freshmenface including things faculty may take for granted such as having the skills to engage in studygroups, manage their time, and approach faculty for help.To meet the outcomes of the program, a set of twenty learning objectives were created. Thenactivities were designed to meet these learning objectives. A map of the program design to theoverall outcomes and learning objectives will be presented. Workshops on writing and mathwere included to better prepare students for the level of work needed in their first year classes.Resources in the university were highlighted to students through a “campus resource hunt” andthrough workshops with key university staff on topics including counseling, health services, timemanagement, and career resources. Students were exposed to the engineering field throughindustry tours and guest lecturers.One key aspect of the program was that the incoming freshmen worked on a service learningproject. In the service learning project, students worked in small teams to build something for alocal non-profit agency. These included an after school center, a community garden, a womenand children’s shelter, and a food and clothing distribution center. The projects were designed tobe relatively small projects that could be accomplished in ten days with no engineering orconstruction experience, such as shelving. The primary goal of the project was to teach thestudents the engineering design process. The steps included brainstorming, narrowing downtheir design options, communicating their design idea to the stakeholder, incorporating feedbackinto their design, managing the project, and working together as a team. This learning could beaccomplished through a range of different project types. However, research has shown thatusing a community service project, known as service learning, has a number of benefitsincluding increased motivation towards using engineering to better society and increasedretention and graduation rates in engineering, particularly among women and under-representedgroups.The program utilized peer mentors who worked closely with the students, with each peer mentorassigned to a small group of incoming students. One key role the peer mentors performed wasteaching the incoming students strategies for student success including time management,working in groups, and study skills. The paper will describe the framework for the peer mentorprogram including how they were trained and assessed and the different roles they had in theprogram.The program was assessed using a survey compiled from several published surveys to assessengineering self-efficacy, cultural awareness, motivation to pursue their engineering education,and motivation to continue serving society. The survey was given at the start and end of theprogram. Detailed results will be presented, including differences in the impact of the programon women, underrepresented groups, and first generation college students. Also, students weresurveyed on their opinion of if the program accomplished these outcomes and objectives, both atthe end of the program and at the end of their first semester. Proposed modifications to theprogram will be presented based on analysis of the student feedback.
Gleixner, S. H., & Casey, K., & Tuberty, J. T., & Latic, S., & Backer, P. R., & Allen, E. L. (2013, June), EXCEED: Excellence in Your Engineering Education Summer Transition Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19578
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