June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.871.1 - 22.871.9
Influencing the Academic Success of Undergraduate First-Year Engineering Students Through a Living Learning CommunityFor many years, the Look College of Engineering (COE) at Texas A&M University has focusedon initiatives that enhance the academic experiences of freshmen. Living learning communitiesis one of the approaches that have been implemented at several large, resident campuses acrossthe nation. The COE is one of the national leaders in this area. In 1992 and 2001, the Collegeestablished living learning communities for women and underrepresented engineering students,respectively. Students who participated in these programs exhibited higher retention rates andGPRs when compared to engineering students who did not participate. This reinforces resultsfrom national studies that showed living learning communities positively impact overall studentsuccess and retention. Based on these analyses, the College moved to expand the initiative, so itmerged the two original programs to establish the Engineering Living Learning Community(ELLC) Program in fall 2006.The ELLC intends to improve students’ academic performance and retention in engineering,especially students from underrepresented groups. Research indicates that the complete contextof learning, including both in-class and out-of class experiences, influences student success. Inthis paper, characteristics of the ELLC program and lessons learned over the past four years arepresented.The ELLC is a Texas A&M University residence hall clustering program for 600 first yearengineering students. The Department of Residence Life and COE have specifically designed theprogram to create a community of scholars to help in the transition to college and commit toacademic excellence in engineering. Newly admitted students are invited to participate in theELLC their freshmen year by submitting a housing application and selecting the community astheir first choice. First generation, low-income and honors students are given priority admissionas space permits. The ELLC includes a scholarly support system of upper class students, facultyand staff. Upper class Resident Advisors, Peer Mentors and other successful returning studentsprovide support. These students plan and coordinate community building activities,organizational office hours and staff free tutoring for STEM-related courses a minimum of 20hours per week. Faculty members and/or administrators devote time to students throughacademically focused group activities. Academic advisors hold office hours in the residence halland answer student questions about class registration and their specific departmental curriculum.The paper examines four cohorts of students who participated in ELLC between 2007 and 2010.Descriptive data including demographics and SATM scores will be provided for each cohort. Inaddition, data on the academic performance of the ELLC participants in their first-year will becompared to thoughtfully selected cohorts of other engineering first-year students. Eachcomparison group consists of students who were new freshmen and pursuing a major in theCOE, but did not live in the ELLC. Data used for the comparison includes persistence in theCollege and GPR. The overarching goal of this paper is to share with the engineering educationcommunity results of the ELLC and its influence on persistence and success of engineeringstudents.
Hodge, J. Q., & Lagoudas, M. Z., & Harris, A. M., & Froyd, J. E., & Hobson, M., & Pope, J. A. (2011, June), Influencing the Academic Success of Undergraduate First-Year Engineering Students Through a Living Learning Community Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18160
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