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Impact of Class Size on Student Success in a Multidisciplinary Honors Program

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Academic Programs

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Kylie Goodell King University of Maryland, College Park

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Kylie King is Program Director of the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program. She has worked with the program since 2010 and currently teaches courses on defining and completing innovation and consulting projects. She is also involved in QUEST’s learning outcomes assessment process. Kylie has a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University and a M.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics at Maryland.

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Jessica Macklin University of Maryland, College Park

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Jessica Macklin is the Program Coordinator for the QUEST Honors Program. She has been with the program since 2014 and assists with the strategic implementation of extracurricular programming for students. Jessica serves as the student organization advisor and events coordinator. She also leads the selections and interview process for new students to the community. Jessica received her BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her MA in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining QUEST, Jessica was the Graduate Assistant in Columbia University’s Office of Student Engagement.

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Amanda Yard University of Maryland, College Park

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Amanda Yard is a graduating senior from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is receiving a major in Supply Chain Management and a minor in Spanish Language and Cultures. She will be working for PepsiCo as an Integrated Supply Chain Associate in Schaumburg, IL. Amanda has been a member of the QUEST Honors Program since Spring 2013 where she has served as a mentor, as well as on the capstone project scoping team.

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Research on the impact of class size on student success has primarily been conducted in a K-12 context. In this paper, we look to extend this research to higher education by examining two cohorts of students in the multidisciplinary QUEST Honors Program at the University of Maryland. QUEST students, who have academic backgrounds in engineering, business, and science, take three required, cohort-based courses in addition to two elective courses with other students at the University. In 2013, the QUEST Honors Program switched from cohorts (class sizes) of approximately 65 students to cohorts of approximately 45 students. This paper examines the impact of class size on two proxies of student success, the assessment of individual-level student learning outcomes and final course grades. This longitudinal data was obtained from two cohorts of different sizes in two of the program’s required courses. The comparison of learning outcomes assessment data and student grades across various class-size conditions enabled the authors to evaluate the impact of class size on two elements that could indicate student success.

King, K. G., & Macklin, J., & Yard, A. (2016, June), Impact of Class Size on Student Success in a Multidisciplinary Honors Program Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25534

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