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Scale-up and Sustain a Cohort Program for First-Year Engineering Students Who Are Placed in Algebra II

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Conference

2018 FYEE Conference

Location

Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session IV

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference Sessions

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31427

Download Count

9

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Paper Authors

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Edmund Tsang Western Michigan University

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Edmund Tsang received a B.S. with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in Metallurgy from Iowa State University. Dr. Tsang's current professional interests include integrating service-learning into engineering, social entrepreneurship, and student success and retention. Dr. Tsang retired in December 2017 as Emeritus Associate Dean and Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Western Michigan University

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Lenore H Yaeger Western Michigan Univeristy

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Lenore Yaeger is the Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Engineering in Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University. She holds a Master of Science in Education in school counseling in higher education from the University of Nebraska and is pursing a doctoral degree in Evaluation from the Interdisciplinary PhD in Evaluation at Western Michigan University focusing on evaluation and program planning in higher education.

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Katherine N. Fox Western Michigan University

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Katherine Fox received a M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University and a B.A. in English from Northern Illinois University. Katherine's current professional interests include holistic college student development and academic advising of honors and engineering and applied science students.

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Rebecca A. Scheffers Western Michigan University

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Rebecca Scheffers earned her B.S. in Organizational Communication from Cedarville University and an M.A. in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University. Her current professional interests include a focus on student success, retention and at-risk student populations.

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Dannielle Marie Curtis Western Michigan University

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Academic Advisor in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University. I have two years of teaching experience in First-Year Engineering programs. I have a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership.

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Lindsay Gove Western Michigan University

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Academic Advisor in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University. Instructor of ENGR 2100 - First Year Engineering Experience. Bachelor's of Arts degree in Child Development and Elementary Education. Master's of Arts degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

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Abstract

First-year students who are placed in Algebra II in the first-semester in college based on ACT or SAT math sub-scores are considered under-prepared in engineering and have been identified as an at-risk population. First-time first-year students who are enrolled in Algebra II in the first semester in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), University XX, number 75-100 annually, forming 20-25% of the first-year CEAS student population. Improving the success and retention of these Algebra II students is important to university enrollment. Placing students into cohorts has been identified as a high impact practice by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) of Indiana University that positively affect student success and retention. In this paper, the details regarding the scale-up and sustaining a cohorts program -- the EXEP Cohorts -- for first-year Algebra II students at University XX will be described. In an EXEP Cohort, ~24 students are enrolled in the same section of 3-to-4 courses in fall semester and in the same section of 3-to-4 courses in spring semester. Progressing through the first-year as a cohort allows students to make connection with peers, faculty and staff, and to form study groups. Cohorts also form a focal point through which student success services and information can be channeled. This paper will describe how to create a cohort program that involves ~100% of Algebra II students, together with details of a two-credit-hour “First-Year Engineering Seminar” that focuses on successful transition from high school to college in engineering, and a 1-credit-hour recitation “Introduction to Engineering Analysis” that links Algebra II topics to applications in engineering. Student performance in Algebra II will be presented, with comparison to baseline performance; as well as performance in subsequent Precalculus, with comparison to baseline performance; and retention rates to engineering and to university, with comparison to baseline retention rates. Students placed in cohorts are tracked by their university identification number. Each subsequent fall semester, the identification numbers by cohort year are run against enrollment data kept by the Office of Institutional Research, to determine the students’ status of enrollment in engineering, enrollment at institution but with a non-engineering major, or non-enrollment, to determine the retention rates. Results so far indicate that the EXEP Cohorts program is correlated to statistically-significant, positive improvements in Algebra II performance and in retention to university. Other improvements, though not statistically-significant, include retention to engineering, and all changes compared to the baseline are positive and never negative. Factors that positively impact sustaining the EXEP Cohorts program for Algebra II students at University XX will be described, together with an estimated cost of the program. University XX is a state-assisted regional institution of higher learning, and it belongs to the CSRDE (Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange) “Less Selectively” category. Engineering programs with similar student demographics may learn lessons from this project on how to build and scale-up a cohorts program to support the success and retention of Algebra II students and how to sustain the practice.

Tsang, E., & Yaeger, L. H., & Fox, K. N., & Scheffers, R. A., & Curtis, D. M., & Gove, L. (2018, July), Scale-up and Sustain a Cohort Program for First-Year Engineering Students Who Are Placed in Algebra II Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey. https://peer.asee.org/31427

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