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Math Problem Solving Sessions for Freshman Engineering Success

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Conference

2017 FYEE Conference

Location

Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Student Success & Development - Focus on Mathematics

Tagged Topic

FYEE Division - Paper Submission

Page Count

6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29425

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

biography

Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is an associate professor and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Kevin C Bower P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Kevin Bower is the D. Graham Copland Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Bower’s teaching research interests are in improving active learning environments and the development of classroom pedagogy to improve moral development in engineering students.

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Ally Kindel Martin The Citadel

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Ally Kindel Martin is the Director of Student Success in the School of Engineering. In her position, she has worked with the Supplemental Instruction program, launched STEM Freshmen Outreach initiatives, created an Engineering Mentor Connection program, and revitalized the Engineering Career & Networking Expo. She holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina. Previously she worked as a Student Success Adviser and focused on early intervention initiatives. She has taught courses including First Year Seminar, Keys to Student Success and University 101.

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Emily Kate Book The Citadel

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Dr. Emily Book is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Citadel. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, her M.B.A. from Clarke College, her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Her research and interests’ areas include high pressure combustion, internal combustion engines, and engineering education.

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Abstract

To assist the transition of students from high school to the challenges of college level engineering courses, The Citadel developed a math review program to retain more engineering students. Students who initially selected one of the engineering majors were tempted to change majors early due to difficulties encountered in non-engineering courses such as math. Recent years had higher enrollments than what was expected in engineering. The challenge was to provide appropriate levels of support and curriculum engagement to help students be successful and retain them in the engineering programs. For the past two years, the School of Engineering conducted a variation of Math Review sessions at the pre-calculus level during the first few weeks of the fall term. Engineering faculty conducted one-hour math review sessions in the evenings. The sessions were designed to be active learning sessions where instructors worked example problems followed by students working problems on the board and discussing the solutions. With some documented success in grade improvement and retention rates in the math review conducted by engineering faculty, the Math Department created a math review program modeled after the School of Engineering’s. Prior to the current school year, freshman math courses met four times weekly. The new Math Review scheduled a math work session each week for one hour in freshman math courses. Math instructors were free to use the extra hour meeting time to work problems or they include shorter problem solving sessions throughout the week. The objectives of this paper are to explain this initiative, to assess the first year program results quantitatively and qualitatively through grades, retention data and surveys, and to discuss the future potential of the program.

Rabb, R. J., & Bower, K. C., & Martin, A. K., & Book, E. K. (2017, August), Math Problem Solving Sessions for Freshman Engineering Success Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/29425

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