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Influence of Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular Activities On First-Year Student Success

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.743.1 - 24.743.20



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Paper Authors


Timothy J. Hinds Michigan State University

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Timothy J. Hinds is the Academic Director of the Michigan State University College of Engineering CoRe (Cornerstone Engineering and Residential) Experience and a Senior Academic Specialist in the Department of Engineering Undergraduate Studies. His current teaching and management responsibilities include development, delivery and administration of first-year courses in engineering design and modeling. He has also taught courses in machine design, manufacturing processes, mechanics, computational tools and international product design as well as graduate-level courses in engineering innovation and technology management. He has conducted research in the areas of environmentally-responsible manufacturing, globally-distributed engineering teaming and early engineering education development and has over 30 years of combined academic and industrial management experience. He received his BSME and MSME degrees from Michigan Technological University.

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S. Patrick Walton Michigan State University

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S. Patrick Walton received his B.ChE. from Georgia Tech, where he began his biomedical research career in the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. He then attended MIT where he earned his M.S. and Sc.D. while working jointly with researchers at the Shriners Burns Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MIT, he was awarded a Shell Foundation Fellowship and was an NIH biotechnology Predoctoral Trainee. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the Stanford University Genome Technology Center, receiving an NIH Kirschstein post-doctoral fellowship. He joined Michigan State University in 2004 and his research is focused on the development of parallel analytical methods and the engineering of active nucleic acids (e.g., siRNAs) through mechanism-based design. He has been recognized for his accomplishments in both teaching and research, receiving the MSU Teacher-Scholar award, the College of Engineering Withrow Teaching Excellence Award, and being named an MSU Lilly Teaching Fellow.

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Mark Urban-Lurain Michigan State University

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Mark Urban-Lurain is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Engineering Education Research at Michigan State University.

Dr. Urban-Lurain is responsible for teaching, research and curriculum development, with emphasis on engineering education and, more broadly, STEM education.

His research interests are in theories of cognition, how these theories inform the design of instruction, how we might best design instructional technology within those frameworks, and how the research and development of instructional technologies can inform our theories of cognition. He is also interested in preparing future STEM faculty for teaching, incorporating instructional technology as part of instructional design, and STEM education improvement and reform.

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Daina Briedis Michigan State University

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DAINA BRIEDIS is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University, Assistant Dean for Student Advancement and Program Assessment in the College of Engineering, and Adjunct Director of Professional Development at ABET. Dr. Briedis has been involved in several areas of education research including student retention, curriculum redesign, and the use of technology in the classroom. She is a co-PI on two NSF grants in the areas of integration of computation in engineering curricula and in developing comprehensive strategies to retain early engineering students. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering accreditation and is a Fellow of ABET and of the AIChE.

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Influence of Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular Activities On First-Year Student SuccessAbstractIncreasing the number of STEM graduates from U.S. universities is a national priority. The[institution] College of Engineering has responded to this need through a large-scale initiative,the [program], that integrates the first-year engineering academic program and an engineeringliving-learning community to support the academic, personal, and professional growth of earlyengineering students during this important transition year. While our long term goal is toprovide the foundation for training these students to be better, more successful professionalengineers, in the short term, it is critical that we support these students to the greatest extent foradmission to the College of Engineering, as our historical data shows that nearly all students(~98%) who gain admission to the College persist to graduation.Admission to the College implies two things about the student: i) they have chosen to remain inan engineering major and ii) they have satisfied the academic requirements to enter that major.Our activities seek to support students along both of these dimensions. To the first point, webelieve that students are more likely to remain in an engineering major if they believe it is anenjoyable and/or worthwhile undertaking. We have both academic and co-curricular activitiesthat seek to demonstrate the value, relevance, and importance of engineering to these students.To the second point, students must maintain a sufficient academic standing across a variety ofintroductory technical courses, including the [program] academic program, to gain admission tothe College. Again, a variety of academic and co-curricular supports are in place, includingtutoring, mentoring, and advising, that assist students in achieving those requirements.To assess the influence of the support structure [program] has implemented, we have conducted2 sets of surveys administered spring 2012 and spring 2013 to all current engineering students;from those just completing their first-year to those graduating. The survey seeks to determinetheir use of the support functions provided during their first year and their current attitudestowards engineering and our program. Our goal in collecting the survey data is to validate ourapproach in helping students to choose and become qualified to pursue a degree in the College ofEngineering and to provide information on achievements and opportunities for improvement anddevelopment in the [program]. Results from the first two surveys have suggested some areas ofsuccess and provide guidance for future improvements.This paper discusses those results of the survey as related to how various aspects of the[institution] [program] assist students in their academic success. Of particular interest isdetermination of our efforts to help students prepare for the rest of their academic careers. Ourinitial analysis focuses on four program activities; the introductory courses, academic advising,tutoring, and special programs; and the attitudes of not only persisters, those that at the time ofthe survey were classified as engineering students, and leavers, those that had begun asengineering students but are now in non-engineering majors, but also those of residents, thosewho chose to live in the first-year engineering residence halls, and non-residents, those who livedin other residence halls or elsewhere.

Hinds, T. J., & Walton, S. P., & Urban-Lurain, M., & Briedis, D. (2014, June), Influence of Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular Activities On First-Year Student Success Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20635

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