June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1222.1 - 22.1222.12
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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