June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.578.1 - 23.578.20
Exploring Early Credit Implications for EngineeringInterest in time-to-graduation and four-year graduation rates for undergraduate students hasincreased nationally over the past decade. Rising costs of higher education have contributed tothis interest. In response, states and families have pushed to increase the number of collegecredits students can earn prior to graduation from high school (through programs such asAdvanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, courses taken through an agreement withcommunity colleges or four-year schools, etc.). Some may argue that this trend is not positiveand lessens the integrity both of the high school diploma and the college degree experience.However, baccalaureate institutions of higher education must adapt to this new reality if theywant to address the concerns of cost, time-to-graduation, and four-year graduation rates forstudents with early college credit.Recognizing this trend, Midwestern University investigated the magnitude of the trend, thesuccess of students entering with early college credit (as measured by retention, grade pointaverage, graduation rates, time to graduation, and success in subsequent courses), studentacademic pursuits, and policy/procedural implications at Midwestern University. The studymethodology included both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Statistical analyses of studentrecords included descriptive statistics, regression, and propensity score matching. Enrolledstudents participated in surveys and focus groups about their experiences at MidwesternUniversity and the impact early credit had on those experiences. Interviews were also conductedwith faculty members, advisors, and administrators from across the university. The universitycatalog was reviewed to identify relevant policy and procedural issues.The results showed that engineering students at Midwestern University, compared to non-engineering students, were less likely to shorten their time to graduation by having early collegecredit. Contributing factors included the heavily course-sequenced nature of the engineeringcurriculum, the inclusion of engineering courses into the early years of engineering degreeprograms as an effort to increase retention, and the limited number of elective courses allowed inmany engineering degree programs. As more students direct from high school enter with collegecredits, it is critical that engineering colleges reflect upon their policies, procedures, curriculum,and course offerings to meet the changing reality. This paper will share university andengineering specific early credit data, including data on student success; discuss the curricular,policy, and procedural issues of early college credit; and share strategies to address these issues.
Zunkel, K., & Pontius, J., & Brumm, T. J. (2013, June), Exploring Early College Credit Implications for Engineering Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19592
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