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Preparation and In-Class Intervention Programs for Barrier Courses for Two-year College Engineering Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Best Practices for Two-Year Students Majoring in Engineering & STEM Fields

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1244.1 - 26.1244.9



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Paper Authors


Courtney Hadsell Cañada College

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I graduated with my PhD in Physics from The University of North Carolina in 2013. I am currently a physics Instructor and physics program services coordinator at Cañada College. I have a deep passion in promoting understanding and success for physics students thought pre-semester and continuing academic support.

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Tracy Huang Cañada College

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Tracy Huang is an educational researcher in STEM at Cañada College. Her research interests include understanding how students become involved, stayed involved, and complete their major in engineering and STEM majors in general, particularly for students in underrepresented populations.

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Amelito G Enriquez Cañada College Orcid 16x16

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Amelito Enriquez is a professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Cañada College in Redwood City, CA. He received a BS in Geodetic Engineering from the University of the Philippines, his MS in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include technology-enhanced instruction and increasing the representation of female, minority and other underrepresented groups in mathematics, science and engineering.

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Preparation and In-Class Intervention Programs for Barrier Courses for Two-year College Engineering StudentsStudents enrolled in community college engineering programs in California typically have a longpath of prerequisites to overcome before they are able to enroll in above introductory transfer-level engineering courses due to under preparation when entering college. The courses requiredfor the engineering path involve many courses with high drop, withdraw, fail rates, which canlengthen the time needed to complete transfer coursework. At XXXX XXXX we found thateven students that ultimately persisted were attempting courses such as trigonometry and physicsmultiple times before they were able to successfully pass the courses. These challenges inhibitthe students’ ability to complete the necessary requirements for transfer in a timely manner, ifthey are able to complete them at all. We have chosen to address these issues by developing twomethods of academic support. The first is to prepare students prior to the start of the semester,and the second is to offer continued support for the duration of the semester.Pre-semester preparation is offered through one of the free Jam programs available to all campusstudents. A specific example is Physics Jam, which is a pre-semester self-paced boot campprogram to introduce and review the necessary math requirements for the physics class in whichthey are enrolled. This math review is also coupled with intense study-skills workshops to teachstudents how to approach their upcoming course. This program allows students some extra timewith the introductory material for their upcoming courses as well as the necessary reading andproblem-solving skills that they will need to be successful in their course. In addition to theJams, continued academic support is offered once students are enrolled in the course.In-class academic support is offered in the form of a novel, modified Supplemental Instructionprogram that is called Embedded Peer Instruction Cohort or EPIC for short. It has been shownthat for STEM fields student success is higher when they work together as groups outside ofclass as opposed to studying alone. The EIPC program focuses on having student leaders goover examples in pre-scheduled weekly study groups and encouraging students to work on theseproblems together. The aim is to encourage students to develop positive problem-solving skillsand work together to obtain a solution. This program is separate from tutoring and focuses onhow to approach and work through problems as opposed to one-on-one topic remediation.Students that participate regularly in EPIC program perform better than their colleagues who donot participate in the program.This paper will discuss the successes, obstacles, and best practices in developing andimplementing academic support programs for two-year college engineering students.

Hadsell, C., & Huang, T., & Enriquez, A. G. (2015, June), Preparation and In-Class Intervention Programs for Barrier Courses for Two-year College Engineering Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24581

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: © 2015 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