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Recruiting and Retention of Engineering Students: Using a One Year Scholarship at Two-Year Partner Schools

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1222.1 - 22.1222.12



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Paper Authors


C.J. Egelhoff U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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C.J. Egelhoff is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering the United States Coast Guard Academy, where she has taught since 1997. She is a former practicing engineer in industry and a former Public School Educator. Her research focuses on: modeling blood flow in humans, developing computing tools for the design/manufacturing of semi-trailer frame rails, kinematics and dynamics of mechanisms and machines, learning from engineering disasters, and recruiting/retention of women and minorities into engineering. She earned a B.A. in Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a M.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho. She is a licensed Professional Engineer.

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Susan Donner Bibeau U.S. Coast Guard

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Captain Bibeau is a 1980 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, one of the first women to graduate from the U.S. military academies. Her 30 year career with the Coast Guard includes two commands, six years of sea duty, and a nine year assignment as Director of Admissions at the Coast Guard Academy. She will join the staff of Three Rivers Community College in April 2011 as the Director of Student Development. Captain Bibeau holds masters degrees in Systems Management (USC), Public Administration (Sonoma State University), and National Security and Strategic Studies (Naval War College).

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K.L. Burns U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Instructor, Mechanical Engineering. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 27 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320-8101.

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Corinna Marie Fleischmann P.E. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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LCDR Fleischmann graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in May, 1998 and was assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elm where she served two tours: as a Deck Watch Officer and Assistant Navigator from May 1998 to March 2000 and as the Operations Officer from March 2000 to June 2001. From 2001 to 2003, she was a member of the Facilities Engineering Branch at the USCGA. During this tour, she served as both the Safety Officer and the Construction Officer. In this latter capacity, she was the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) as well as Civil Engineering Project Manager for the Academy’s $5.2 million dollar construction program. In 2003, she was selected for graduate school and attended the University of Texas, Austin where she earned a M.S.C.E with an emphasis on Construction Engineering and Project Management. In December 2004, she joined the USCGA faculty as an Instructor. During her time at the Academy, she has been the advisor for both the American Society of Civil Engineering and Society of American Military Engineers student chapters, a member of the SUPT Gender Policy Group, and worked with CGA Admissions in several diversity outreach programs. In August 2009, LCDR Fleischmann became a member of the Permanent Commission Teaching Staff and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. She holds a professional engineering license in the state of Florida and a certification as a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor through the National Sustainable Building Advisors Program.

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Two-Year and Four-Year Partnership: Narrow the First Year Retention Gap and Provide a Plan for Other Programs Colleges of Engineering have been trying to tap potential engineering students from theunderrepresented minority segment of the population for more than thirty years. As soon as itwas realized how few high school minority students were fully qualified to and interested instudying engineering, four-year institutions began seeking and qualifying those students whowere “almost” qualified. Summer bridge programs were developed to build needed skills, createacademic community and perhaps offer course credit. Extensive first-year programs werecreated which provided academic assistance, peer or faculty mentoring or perhaps offering firstyear research with faculty. Follow-on programs were also instituted at some colleges to giveacademic support and build community among engineering learners. Additional options are dualdegree programs and curriculum adjustments making engineering “more relevant”. Still otherinstitutions have marshaled student professional organizations to conduct outreach, buildcommunity and act as a recruiting and retention hub. The United States Service Academies were unable to develop “bridge” or “first-year”programs to meet their need for engineering students since the Academies already included a“boot camp” for the summer program and routinely used a “common first year academicprogram”. The Service Academies also work with a bigger challenge enrolling engineeringstudents because of the five-year military service requirement following graduation. While someService Academies developed service-specific preparatory school, the U.S. Coast GuardAcademy (USCGA) developed a cooperative preparatory program by partnering with existingprivate preparatory institutes and two-year colleges. Although these efforts have been ongoingfor nearly a decade, the USCGA is just now seeing the first year retention gap is closing with thisprogram. Whether the gap continues to close remains to be seen. This paper describes the development and results of the USCGA preparatory program, andrecommends how such a program could be created by virtually any engineering collegeinterested in tapping the under-prepared population of students attracted to studying engineering.The key elements of principles, process and current best-practices include: recruitment andselection, academic planning and advising, community-building, curriculum development, andinstitutional selection and alignment. We describe how to select students who can succeed, howto talk to parents, how we use orientation as a springboard into the year, how we develop,monitor, and evaluate the academic preparatory year, and how we measure success so far. Wedetail reasons why students leave before matriculating to the USCGA and how we track theirprogress to graduation. We describe the seven preparatory schools with which we’ve partnered,why we chose them and why we choose to continue partnering with them. We describe how wework directly with the faculty and staff of the preparatory schools. Finally, we describe howother four-year institutions can use from our program to benefit their own students.

Egelhoff, C., & Bibeau, S. D., & Burns, K., & Fleischmann, C. M. (2011, June), Recruiting and Retention of Engineering Students: Using a One Year Scholarship at Two-Year Partner Schools Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18708

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