June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.848.1 - 12.848.11
Improved Retention through Innovative Academic and Non-Academic Programs Abstract:
In conjunction with a grant from the National Science Foundation, the retention of students in Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIUC) College of Engineering will be increased through the introduction of innovative academic and non-academic programs. The new academic programs consist of the following components: an introduction to engineering course, engineering designated sections of courses, a summer math course for new students who need improvement in math, and revisions to the math curriculum. The new non-academic programs consist of: creation of an engineering residential college, and peer mentoring, faculty mentoring, and mentoring by practicing engineers.
The introduction to engineering course will include all freshman students in SIUC College of Engineering. This lecture-laboratory course will provide an interesting description of each engineering major and allows students to work with hands-on projects that will teach the usefulness of mathematics and basic engineering concepts. The SIUC College of Engineering has worked with other departments on campus to offer engineering designated sections of core curriculum courses, such as math, sciences, English, and speech communication. The summer math course lasts four-weeks and accepts students who test below the pre-calculus level and prepares them for pre-calculus during the fall semester. The mathematics curriculum is being modified so that all students who do not test into calculus will take a math course taught by the college of engineering that prepares them for calculus.
Also, there are non-academic programs that have been designed to improve retention and the freshman experience. First, to foster the “living-learning community” experience, all freshman and sophomore engineering students will live in the engineering residential college with 36 peer mentors and three residential assistants. The engineering residential college also houses a classroom where engineering designated sections of common courses will be taken and a study lounge where college-supported tutoring occurs. Second, sophomore and junior engineering students and faculty provide peer and faculty mentoring to freshman and sophomore engineering students to encourage them to continue in the engineering program through the challenging first two years. Practicing engineers are designated as industrial mentors and work with students to provide career advice, clarify engineering jobs, and explain how curriculum in engineering is used in the workplace.
It is projected that through the successful implementation of the innovative student-centered academic and non-academic programs, the overall five year retention and graduation rate in the SIUC College of Engineering will increase by 30%, from 37% to 67%.
Mathias, J., & Gupta, L., & Tezcan, J., & Caffey, R., & Chrisman, B., & Pearson, C., & Nicklow, J., & Lewis, E., & Kowalchuk, R., & Pericak-Spector, K., & Sevim, H. (2007, June), Improved Retention Through Innovative Academic And Non Academic Programs Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2562
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