June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.743.1 - 24.743.20
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. https://peer.asee.org/20635
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