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Preparing Engineering Students for the Fall Semester through a Summer Math Bridge Program

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Conference

2021 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

Virtual

Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38400

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

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Aysa Galbraith University of Arkansas

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Dr. Aysa Galbraith is a Teaching Assistant Professor of First-Year Engineering Program at University of Arkansas. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Chemical and Biomolecular Department at North Carolina State University in 2006. She is responsible from teaching Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Applications of Mathematics classes, developing course material, and advising freshman engineering students.

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Leslie Bartsch Massey University of Arkansas

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Leslie Massey is an instructor in the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. She received her BS in Biological Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a project manager at a water resources center, but returned to the University of Arkansas to teach general Introduction to Engineering and to coordinate for the First-Year Honors Innovation Experience.

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Heath Aren Schluterman University of Arkansas

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Dr. Heath Schluterman is a Teaching Associate Professor and the Associate Director of Academics for the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Schluterman completed his B.S. and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

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Brandon Crisel

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I am an 11 year veteran instructor at the University of Arkansas with a BS and MS in Mathematics with emphasis in Statistics and applied Math as well as a MS in Industrial Engineering. I began working in the Math Department, teaching service courses. While there, I taught College Algebra, Math for Elementary Teachers 1&2, Mathematical Reasoning, and Finite Mathematics. I also helped spearhead our department's online initiative to both flip classes while simultaneously creating an online program for our service courses. I was also the Testing Coordinator, where I managed the Testing and Tutoring Centers and their staff. I also created, maintained, supported, and administered the Online Math Placement Test and its related documentation. Through this job, I grew a relationship with the members of our Freshmen Engineering Program (FEP) as their students were one of the largest populations that interacted with the placement exam. Later, an opportunity arose to take a position that would be a 50/50 split between Math and FEP, where I taught sequences of Introduction to Engineering themed in Electronics, Robotics, and Structures. I have since moved entirely to a full time instructor for FEP, where I have helped redesign the Electronics and Robotics theme. I have also developed and implemented a common Computing theme.

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Abstract

This is an abstract for a full paper. First-Year Engineering Program (FEP) was established in 2007 with the intent of increasing student retention and success in College of Engineering (CoE). One of the main hindrances to retention at a public university engineering program with open enrollment is the unpreparedness of students for rigorous curriculum requirements of the first year, especially for the progression in Calculus courses. Approximately 40% of CoE students begin in Calculus I while 30% begin ahead (in Calculus II or higher), 20% of CoE students begin in Precalculus (one math class behind), and 10% of CoE students begin in College Algebra (two math classes behind). In order to improve the math-readiness for a group of first year engineering students who had ACT scores below 28 (thus, did not qualify for Calculus I), CoE and FEP offered Engineering Math Acceleration Program (EMAP) in Summer 2019. EMAP was a one week bridge program with the objectives to help students improve their math preparedness, to connect students to the university life, to allow students to explore the College's opportunities and resources, and to help students make connections with their peers to form friendships early that could help them during their fall semester. We used ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning Assessment (commonly noted as ALEKS, ALEKS Placement test, or Math placement test), an adaptive assessment tool, to help with instructions. ALEKS has been recently adopted by the mathematics department at the university; therefore, students who scored into a higher math bracket at the end of EMAP had the opportunity to move up in their math placement for their first fall semester. The program was sponsored by College of Engineering and was offered free to students. Students were also offered a scholarship at the end of the program if they fully participated in the program. While most students did not improve enough on the second ALEKS test to advance their math placement for the fall semester, the experience of being on campus and using math software that is similar to that used in math courses taught on campus did prove beneficial to this group of students. In this paper, we give the details of the accelerated math program and we track the performance this group of students after they finished the EMAP program. We will compare retention rates of this population of students to the FEP cohort as well as to students in each math placement that did not participate in EMAP. We will also compare math success rates of EMAP students to that of students who did not participate in EMAP for each math placement.

Galbraith, A., & Massey, L. B., & Schluterman, H. A., & Crisel, B. (2021, August), Preparing Engineering Students for the Fall Semester through a Summer Math Bridge Program Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38400

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