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Identifying Factors Impacting First-year Persistence in Computer Graphics Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Student Recruitment and Retention in ET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.873.1 - 26.873.12



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Paper Authors


Eric Scott McCrae Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

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Eric McCrae is a senior graphic designer and web developer at Blue Octopus Printing Company, a large printing and mailing facility located in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has over 17 years experience in the printing and mailing industry specializing in graphic design for print and mail marketing. Eric is the father of 1 and husband to Mia the love of his life.

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Eugenia Fernandez Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

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Eugenia Fernandez is an Associate Professor of Computer and Information Technology and Chair of the Department of Computer Information and Graphics Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She is a Fellow of the Mack Center at Indiana University for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning and an Editor of the Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning related to learning with technology.

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Identifying Factors Impacting First Year Persistence in Computer Graphics TechnologyThe retention of students is a goal that all universities strive to achieve. With more and moreemphasis placed on degree completion, retaining students becomes even more important.University faculty and staff continually try to identify and measure what possible factors affect astudent’s decision to remain in their chosen field of study. The Computer Graphics Technology(CGT) departments are concerned with what factors, if any, affect the persistence of students inthe CGT program.The goal of this study was to determine personal factors such as age, ethnicity, gender and beinga first-generation student and/or academic factors such admission status, level of entry mathcourse, semester course load, and academic grades are related to the first-year persistence ofCGT students. Utilizing academic records for students who declared CGT as their major courseof study in both the fall 2012 and fall 2013 semesters, we investigate if there is a connectionbetween these factors and student retention.Students were divided into two groups based on whether they were enrolled in the CGT programin the third semester after beginning the program. Comparing the data points between the twogroups helped identify descriptors that affect student retention.Initial results show a correlation between entry level math and grade point average and retentionin the first year. Further analysis is ongoing.Study results will help faculty and staff to understand some of the factors that affect CGT firstyear students, and to aid in formulating useful interventions to help increase retention levels.Increasing student use of math tutoring may be one such intervention. Results could also aidother university CGT departments in their efforts to increase the retention levels in theiracademic programs.

McCrae, E. S., & Fernandez, E. (2015, June), Identifying Factors Impacting First-year Persistence in Computer Graphics Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24210

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