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Influencing the Academic Success of Undergraduate First-Year Engineering Students Through a Living Learning Community

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

FPD XI: Assessing First-Year Programs, Experiences, and Communities

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.871.1 - 22.871.9



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Paper Authors


Jacqueline Q. Hodge Texas A&M University

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Jacqueline Hodge is a native of Giddings, Texas and currently the Project Manager for the Engineering Student Services & Academic Programs Office (ESSAP) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). In her current position, Jacqueline is responsible for Retention and Enrichment Programs for engineering students such as the Engineering Living Leanring Community (ELLC), Learning to Excel in Engineering through Preparation (LEEP), Success and Certificate Programs.


Jacqueline graduated from TAMU with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. While obtaining her degree, Jacqueline was involved with several community service activities such as the Boys & Girls Club of Bryan, Help One Student To Succeed (HOSTS), and Habitat for Humanity. Upon graduation with her bachelors degree, she began work with International Paper Company and became active with the local College Bound Academy as an instructor. While employed with International Paper, Jacqueline obtained her MSBA from TAMU-Texarkana. After seven years of service in July 2004, she decided to resign her post at International Paper to pursue her master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at TAMU. In Fall 2005, Jacqueline accepted a fulltime position with the ESSAP Office and completed her Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 2006.

Finally, Jacqueline continues to be committed to education and her community. She is the President for the Poplar Circle Neighborhood Association and member of the Brazos valley Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Engineering Student Services and Academic Programs,
Texas A&M University

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Angie M. Harris Texas A&M University

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Angie M. Harris is the Coordinator of Residence Life for Living Learning Communities within the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University.

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Jefferey E. Froyd Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Jeffrey E. Froyd is the Director of Faculty Climate and Development in the Office of the Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost at Texas A&M University. He served as Project Director for the Foundation Coalition, an NSF Engineering Education Coalition in which six institutions systematically renewed, assessed, and institutionalized their undergraduate engineering curricula, and extensively shared their results with the engineering education community. He co-created the Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, which was recognized in 1997 with a Hesburgh Award Certificate of Excellence. He has authored or co-authored over 70 papers on engineering education in areas ranging from curricular change to faculty development. He is currently an ABET Program Evaluator and a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal on Engineering Education.

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Margaret Hobson Texas A&M University

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Margaret Hobson, Ph.D., serves as an Assistant Director of Strategic Research Development for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, a state-wide research agency of the Texas A&M University System. In this capacity she works with institutions of higher education across the state of Texas to strategically develop education and technical research proposals that will bring federal research dollars into Texas. Her office has garnered over $66 million in federal funding since 2003 for educational research, in addition to working with faculty who received individual technical awards, such as the NSF CAREER. Dr. Hobson has a B.S. from Texas Woman’s University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Psychology (Dissertation: Teacher Perceptions of Change in Leadership Roles and Activities as a Result of Participation in a Science Education Leadership Program). Her dissertation study was supported by the National Science Foundation project Center for Applications of Information Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Science (ITS Center). Dr. Hobson also has extensive experience in evaluation. Prior to joining TEES, Dr. Hobson taught mathematics and special education in three Texas public school districts between 1976 and 2000.

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Jasmine Alysse Pope

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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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015