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Learning Communities: Impact on Retention of First-year Students

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Retention & Bridge Programs #2

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34899

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34899

Download Count

81

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Paper Authors

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Maryam Darbeheshti University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7988-0906

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Dr. Darbeheshti is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver.

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William Schupbach University of Colorado Denver

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Ariel Cervantes Lafuente

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Tom Altman University of Colorado Denver

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Tom Altman received his B.S. degrees in Computer Science and in Mathematics, and M.S. and Ph.D. (1984) in Computer Science, all from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Altman specializes in optimization algorithms, formal language theory, and complex system simulation. He has published over 75 journal, conference, and technical papers. Presently, Dr. Altman is a Professor of Computer Science at CU Denver and has been an active ABET Program Evaluator (CAC) since 2008. His current research focus is on STEM and more specifically, Engineering Education.

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Katherine Goodman University of Colorado Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5235-3372

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Katherine Goodman is assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, and the associate director of Inworks, an interdisciplinary innovation lab. Her research focuses on transformative experiences in engineering education. She is currently division chair of the Technological and Engineering Literacy - Philosophy of Engineering Division (TELPhE).

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Michael S. Jacobson University of Colorado Denver

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Shani O'Brien University of Colorado Denver

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Abstract

Abstract: This completely evidence-based paper focuses on the impact of the “Engineering Learning Community” on the retention rate of the first-year students. The Engineering Learning Community (ELC) was launched in 2016 and works to increase student collaboration from day one, and to increase interest in engineering through an introductory design course for first year freshman students. ELC students not only take this design course but are matriculated into common first year Math and English courses. These attributes are thought to enhance the student’s ability to overcome the hurdles of their first year and improve their interest in completing a four-year degree at the Engineering College. Since then, three cohorts of ELC students have been observed through the lens of retention, and this study is intended to show how the ELC is affiliated with retention. The results from this study indicate that first year GPA is strongly related to first year retention at the Engineering College, and that students participating in the ELC are observed to have a higher GPA at the end of their first year when compared to the rest of the students in the Engineering College. In addition, interviews with ELC members further demonstrate the influence of a cohort-style learning community on first-year students’ experiences in higher education.

Darbeheshti, M., & Schupbach, W., & Lafuente, A. C., & Altman, T., & Goodman, K., & Jacobson, M. S., & O'Brien, S. (2020, June), Learning Communities: Impact on Retention of First-year Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34899

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