June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Nuclear and Radiological
13.873.1 - 13.873.8
Matriculating Nuclear Engineering Students – The North Carolina State University Case
Lisa Marshall and Mohamed Bourham Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University
Abstract First-year nuclear engineering students typically complete a common freshman year that does not include courses(s) in nuclear engineering. How then does a department engage students who have expressed their intent to major in nuclear engineering but haven’t matriculated into the discipline as of yet? Through an analysis of matriculation trends and a survey of current nuclear engineering students, we will report on why students choose nuclear engineering, what makes them stay, and what impact current retention programs for un-matriculated students have on their decisions? Students surveyed provide insight into factors they deem important and subsequently have an effect on their commitment to a nuclear engineering education at North Carolina State University.
Key Words Nuclear engineering; first year engineering; undergraduate program
N.C. State’s Department of Nuclear Engineering has seen a 74% increase in the undergraduate student population from 37 students in 2000-01 to 143 students in 2007- 08. The portion of un-matriculated students in the department has increased by 55% over the same eight year timeframe, from 15 in 2000 to 52 in 2007. For 2007-08, the percentage of un-matriculated students in the undergraduate population stands at 36%. There are larger numbers of admitted students expressing their intent to major in nuclear engineering. Since most un-matriculated students have not taken a course in their desired major, the department must rely on (non) academic retention programs to assist students in matriculation – a crucial step to progress towards degree completion that students must navigate. Ultimately, it impacts the supply side of the increasing employment demand for nuclear engineers.
Why students choose nuclear engineering; why do students continue in this major; and, what retention programs they value become crucial questions to understanding some of the variables that impact the nuclear engineering student body. A project in progress, this paper reports on initial observations.
Proceedings of the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2008, American Society for Engineering Education
Marshall, L., & Bourham, M. (2008, June), Matriculating Nuclear Engineering Students: The North Carolina State University Case Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3861
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