August 23, 2022
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June 29, 2022
How First-Year Engineering Students Perceive Their Academic Progress
This Complete Research paper will investigate how first-year engineering students perceive their academic progress. First-year engineering students are often under extreme amounts of stress. In their first semester, they are making the transition from high school to a college or university where the rigor of the coursework is above and beyond what they have experienced in the past. Typically, they take a laboratory science course - either Chemistry or Physics - but sometimes both. Additionally, first-year engineering students are expected to be calculus ready and take a calculus course in their first semester. In addition to these courses, students usually take an introductory engineering course and round out their studies with a liberal arts course, if the college or university has a general education requirement. Along with this difficult field of study and rigorous course load, they are adjusting in general to life at a new school and new independence: being away from home for the first time, setting their own schedule, making new friends, navigating campus and finding the resources available, and getting involved with extracurricular activities, and more. The question that presents itself is “How well are these students monitoring their academic progress in the face of all of these new and somewhat unique challenges?” Halfway through their first semester, the first-year engineering students at *university* are surveyed. They are asked one short answer question and twenty-four multiple choice questions. These questions are designed to understand how well students are adjusting to university life. For example, are they familiar with and taking advantage of the academic services and resources offered to students? How do they think they are doing in some of their courses, especially mathematics, science, and engineering? In this study, the final grades earned by the first-year engineering students in their mathematics, science, and engineering courses are compared with the grades they reported in the mid-semester survey. The results of this correlation are compared to the reported degree to which students took advantage of the various campus services designed to help them adjust to university life and how much time per week they spent studying. Was their perceived academic performance accurate? Did they utilize university academic services in response to their perceived academic performance? The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a mostly on-line course experience for first-year engineering students at *university* in the 2020/2021 academic year. In the current 2021/2022 academic year first-year engineering students at *university* are taking classes entirely in-person once again. This study also asks if there are any differences between the mid-semester survey responses and the reported grades due to on-line and in-person methods of instruction in the two academic years.
Elmore, M., & Simonik, M., & Crist, M., & Gieskes, K. (2022, August), How First-Year Engineering Students Perceive Their Academic Progress Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/40470
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