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Implementing an Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course at the University of Arkansas and Assessing Retention Impact

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD 8: Engineering Math Issues

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

23.707.1 - 23.707.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19721

Download Count

48

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Paper Authors

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Heath A Schluterman University of Arkansas

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Dr. Heath Schluterman is an Instructor and the Associate Director of Academics for the Freshman Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Schluterman completed his B.S. and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

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Kellie Schneider University of Arkansas

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Kellie Schneider is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Industrial Engineering and an instructor in the Freshman Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. She received her BS and MS both in Industrial Engineering from the U of A.

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Adrienne L. Gaines University of Arkansas

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Adrienne L. Gaines is the Associate Director of Student Services for the Freshman Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. Gaines completed her B.A. in Management Information Systems at the University of Northern Iowa and M.Ed. in Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas.

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Abstract

Implementing an Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course at a Public University and Assessing Retention Impact One of the hindrances to retention at a public university engineering program with openenrollment is that many students are not prepared for the rigorous curriculum requirements of thefirst year. In fact, recent increases in enrollment coupled with changes in the math placementguidelines at our university have resulted in a significant number of students that are notqualified to begin their course of study in Calculus I. The majority of these students are qualifiedto begin their course of study one math class behind Calculus I. Traditionally, these studentshave enrolled in Precalculus. However, in fall 2010, an Engineering Applications ofMathematics (E-Math) course was implemented as an alternative to the Precalculus course. E-Math is modeled after a similar course developed at Wright State University [1]. The coursecovers many of the topics from the Precalculus course (in the context of engineeringapplications) as well as topics heavily used in sophomore-level engineering courses (includingderivatives and integrals). To date, over 250 students have taken the course, and an additional120 students are enrolled this fall.This paper presents the evolution of the course structure since its implementation including ourwork with the Department of Mathematical Sciences in having the course recognized as aprerequisite to the Calculus I course. The retention rates and progression through the mathsequence of students that took E-Math are evaluated and compared to those results with studentsthat took the traditional Precalculus course to the cohort as a whole. Furthermore, attempts toaddress issues associated with students who enter our program two math classes behind CalculusI are discussed. Specifically, the implementation of a course developed to have the studentsCalculus ready in a single semester is put forward.[1] Klingbiel, N.W. et. al. “Rethinking Engineering Mathematics Education: A Model for Increased Retention, Motivation and Success in Engineering.” Proceedings of the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 2004.

Schluterman, H. A., & Schneider, K., & Gaines, A. L. (2013, June), Implementing an Engineering Applications of Mathematics Course at the University of Arkansas and Assessing Retention Impact Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19721

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