San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.735.1 - 25.735.21
Implementing an Industrial Mentoring Program to Enhance Student Motivation and RetentionAbstractA new industrial mentor program at our university connects practicing engineers with “FreshmanInterest Groups (FIGs)” of 7-10 students. Far too many talented young minds walk away fromengineering thinking, “I don’t want to work calculus problems in isolation the rest of my life, soI’m changing my major!” Face-time with practicing engineers, we believe, helps dispel manymisconceptions plaguing the future of our profession. In a casual setting first semester studentscan get answers to questions such as, “What do you actually do? Should I pay attention inCalculus I? Do you like your job?” This program is part of a larger retention and career-boostinginitiative including overhauling the first-year course experience and hiring student peer mentors,funded in part through NSF-STEP.Industrial mentors commit to 9 hours (including drive time) for the year including: attendingmentor orientation, providing student feedback, attending two informal student meetings (withthe 7-10 member FIGs), and completing a feedback survey. Several optional activities forinterested mentors include giving class presentations, electronic mentoring, and reviewing first-year student team design presentations. In this pilot year 9 mentors are connected with FIGgroups of approximately 6 students each.This paper will detail the logistics and challenges of starting up this mentoring program, andpresent qualitative and quantitative assessment results, with the intention of contributing ourexperiences and materials to the dialogue on retention initiatives. Details will be included on:identifying and recruiting ideal mentors, empowering student peer advisors to “own” therelationship (and the accompanying logistics), jumpstarting conversations with freshmen andmentors, and program results. Preliminary qualitative indicators are very positive, and the paperwill include a mix of survey and focus group data from first-year students, student peer advisors,faculty mentors, and industrial mentors.
Green, M. G., & Niemi, A. D., & Roudkovski, M. (2012, June), Implementing an Industrial Mentoring Program to Enhance Student Motivation and Retention Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21492
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