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Integrated Pre Freshman Engineering And Precalculus Mathematics

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD5 -- Placement & Early Success

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

11.776.1 - 11.776.11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--538

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/538

Download Count

127

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Paper Authors

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Janet Hampikian is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boise State University and Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University. She received a Ph.D. in Materials Science, a M.S. in Metallurgy and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her current research interests include freshmen engineering programs, recruitment and retention issues in engineering, biomedical device development and the development and characterization of biomaterials.

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John Gardner Boise State University

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John F. Gardner is Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Boise State University. He is also Director of the Hewlett Foundation funded Engineering Schools of the West Intiative at Boise State. His current research interests, in addition to engineering education, include dynamic systems and sustainable energy systems.

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Amy Moll Boise State University

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Amy J. Moll is Associate Professor and Chair of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University. This new department was formed in July 2004 with a generous donation from the Micron Foundation and offers a Master of Science, a Master of Engineering, a Bachelor of Science and a Minor in Materials Science and Engineering. Amy received a B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana. Her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in Materials Science and Engineering from University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1994. Following graduate school, Amy worked for Hewlett Packard in San Jose, CA and in Colorado Springs, CO. Amy’s research interests include microelectronic packaging, particularly 3-D integration and ceramic MEMS devices.

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Pat Pyke Boise State University

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Patricia Pyke is Director of Special Programs for the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She oversees projects in freshman curriculum development, retention, math support, mentoring, and women’s programs. She earned a B.S.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Cheryl Schrader Boise State University

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Cheryl B. Schrader is Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boise State University. Dean Schrader has an extensive record of publications and sponsored research in the systems, control and engineering education fields. She recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House for an enduring, strong, and personal commitment to underrepresented engineering students and faculty.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrated Pre-Freshman Engineering and Precalculus Mathematics

Abstract

Engineering curricula share a reliance on mathematics as the prerequisites for nearly all science and engineering courses. As such, it’s not surprising that student success in mathematics is highly correlated to retention of engineering students. As part of an effort to improve retention in engineering, a new course was offered to freshmen in the College of Engineering at Boise State University. This course, which incorporated many elements of our Introduction to Engineering course, was designed to be taken concurrently with the 5-credit Precalculus course which many of our students must pass before they can move on to Calculus I. In addition, the standard Introduction to Engineering course was modified to more directly support students concurrently enrolled in Calculus I. Preliminary results indicate that students who concurrently enroll in an engineering course along with the Precalculus or Calculus I achieve higher success rates in their math class.

1.0 Introduction

There are a variety of factors influencing student retention and success in engineering. One of these factors is strongly linked to mathematics education in both high school and in the freshman year.1 In fact, success in the first semester mathematics class at Boise State University is the most effective predictor of freshman retention among Engineering majors. The odds of being retained increases by close to 50% for each letter grade increase in the first semester math class, according to an analysis by the university's Office of Institutional Assessment. Surprisingly, this correlation between performance in their first math class and retention overshadowed the relationship between student retention and the level of mathematics at which students began their studies. In other words, it mattered much more that students did well in their first math course, regardless of the level. Motivated by this situation and by the positive results of supporting math learning among freshman engineering students presented by Carpenter, et al.2 a freshman precalculus engineering course, ENGR 110, was taught in fall 2005 at Boise State University geared specifically toward increasing student success in the Precalculus math class. Although offered previously as an ENGR 197 course,3 this offering was substantially different in that the new course utilized a web-based tutorial program, ALEKS,4 engineering modules and advising that included instruction in time-management principles as methods to increase student retention and reduce student attrition. This paper reports on the revised course organization of ENGR 110, its impact on student success in Precalculus, and on student perceptions of the course. Also reported are the effects of modifying the freshman engineering course (Introduction to Engineering, ENGR 120) taken in conjunction with Calculus I by including ALEKS as a major component of the course activities in the first ten weeks.

Callahan, J., & Gardner, J., & Moll, A., & Pyke, P., & Schrader, C. (2006, June), Integrated Pre Freshman Engineering And Precalculus Mathematics Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--538

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