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Improve Recruitment and Retention Based on Student Interests

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2018 FYEE Conference


Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session IV

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference Sessions

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Paper Authors


Katie Loughmiller Kansas State University

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Katie Loughmiller is an Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at Kansas State University holding the Martin K. Eby Distinguished Professorship. Her research areas include construction scheduling and operations, and rete

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Julia A Keen P.E. Kansas State University

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Julia Keen is a Professor of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at Kansas State University holding the Bob and Betty Tointon Engineering endowed chair. She also owns her own consulting company, Keen Designs, PA. Her specific areas of interest include HVAC design, energy codes, high performance design, HVAC education, and the advancement of women in the building design and construction industry.

Julia Keen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University. Upon graduation, she worked as a Mechanical/Electrical Project Engineer in Waterloo, Iowa. In this capacity she was responsible for the design of building systems from initial planning stages through final project inspection and completion. Julia was involved in new and retrofit projects including hospitals, health clinics, assisted-living and nursing facilities, education facilities, office buildings, retail facilities, dormitories, and churches. In July 2003, Julia accepted a faculty position with K-State in the Architectural Engineering and Construction Science Department. She completed her Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering (2005) and her Doctorate (2010) in Education both from K-State. She is a Licensed Mechanical Professional Engineer in Kansas and Iowa and holds two ASHRAE Certifications - High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) and Building Energy Audit Professional (BEAP).

In addition to her 9-month faculty appointment at K-State, Julia has the opportunity to stay current with the HVAC industry in a consulting capacity. Her consulting endeavors include performing as HVAC professional education consultant, engineering design, plan check and quality review, and acting as an owner’s representative in facility planning and project implementation.

Julia is very involved in the engineering professional society, ASHRAE. She has served as the faculty advisor to the K-State Student branch since 2003. She currently holds the elected position of Society Vice President.

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Katherine Marie Benton Kansas State University

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Katherine Benton is an undergraduate in Architectural Engineering at Kansas State University. She is currently working toward a concurrent BS/MS in Architectural Engineering. Her MS will focus on structural engineering with an interest in tilt-up concrete.

Katherine is very involved with the student chapters of Structural Engineers of Kansas and Missouri and Engineers Without Borders at Kansas State University.

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Improve Recruitment and Retention Based on Student Interests


Dr. Julia Keen, Katie Loughmiller, and Katherine Benton


Undergraduate retention rates for those majoring in engineering are typically lower than other non-technical majors. Several factors play a role in the student retention rates within respective engineering majors: class load, internship experience, technical content, etc. To examine interest levels of Architectural Engineering (ARE) and Construction Science & Management (CNS) several semesters of students were surveyed at the beginning and end of their orientation class. The survey consisted of questions regarding demographics and personal interests, as well as the student’s confidence in their choice of major. Data collected identified commonalities in hobbies and interests of students who were retained versus students who have left the program. This information is important as the department determines the more effective ways to improve retention, as well as better targeted recruitment efforts in Architectural Engineering Construction Science and Management. With this information the department can emphasize specific aspects of the program in the literature and advertising used when recruiting prospective students. These preferences can be used when planning course content modules and social or technical events for current students to increase interest and participation. This data allows the department to help provide more opportunity for current and future students to form relationships with other students based on shared interests outside of the curriculum and engineering groups. The anticipated result will be students within the Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science and Management who are more excited and engaged in their major during their collegiate and professional career.

Loughmiller, K., & Keen, J. A., & Benton, K. M. (2018, July), Improve Recruitment and Retention Based on Student Interests Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--31421

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