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Retention In Engineering Technology Programs At Rochester Institute Of Technology

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Recruiting and Retention

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1090.1 - 11.1090.12



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Paper Authors


Carol Richardson Rochester Institute of Technology

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Carol Richardson is the Miller Professor and the Vice Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Retention of Engineering Technology Students at Rochester Institute of Technology


This paper describes several programs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) that have been implemented in the past four years to improve the success and graduation rates of RIT students. RIT programs such as the Early Alert System, Freshman First Year Experience, Learning Communities, and the North Star Center are being used to improve the success of Engineering Technology (ET) students. New ET programs such as the mentoring of women ET students, a transfer student scholarship program, and the addition of professional staff advisors to the ET departments have also been added. The success of these programs is measured by comparing the attrition of ET freshman and transfer students for the past five years to the RIT attrition of freshman and transfer students.


RIT is a private university with a modern 1,300 acre campus located in Rochester, New York, the third largest city in New York. There were 11, 821 undergraduate students and 2,041 graduate students enrolled in the fall of 2005. Over 50% of these students are enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs RIT students can prepare for technical and professional careers in more than 200 different academic programs. Many of the academic offerings are unique or unusual: imaging science, microelectronic engineering, software engineering, and telecommunications engineering technology; the programs draw students from every state and more than 80 foreign countries. Many degree programs emphasize co-operative education where periods of formal instruction are combined with off-campus hands-on paid internships which enhance the university’s “learn by doing” philosophy. RIT is respected internationally as a world leader in career-oriented and professional education and has one of the oldest and largest co-op programs in the world, with more than 1,300 employers and 2,600 students participating in the program each year. More than 450 companies visit RIT annually to conduct 5,000 employment interviews.

ASEE reports engineering technology (ET) statistics on their web site each year. The latest statistics (2003-04) show that RIT is ranked fifth and had 1,105 students enrolled in their seven undergraduate programs in ET. The ET programs are in the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at RIT in three different departments. These programs are:

Richardson, C. (2006, June), Retention In Engineering Technology Programs At Rochester Institute Of Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--698

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