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Strategies For Fostering The Academic Growth And Personal Development Of Pre Engineering And Pre Applied Science Majors

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Developing Young MINDS in Engineering - Part I

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1097.1 - 15.1097.15



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Paper Authors

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Elyce Winters Stony Brook University

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Imin Kao Stony Brook University

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Jennifer Dellaposta SUNY Stony Brook College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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Christine Szaraz SUNY Stony Brook College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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

Strategies for Fostering the Academic Growth and Personal Development of Pre-Engineering and Pre-Applied Science Majors


The purpose of this research is to explore the impact of advising interventions on the academic success of engineering and applied science pre-majors at a large, multicultural, top-tier research university. There is a growing body of literature addressing the impact of specific academic initiatives with respect to how higher education students are taught math, science, and engineering subjects, though there is less focus on the value of intensive psycho-social support on the retention and advancement of students pursuing the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This paper seeks to address that issue and illustrate how early advising interventions can improve retention and graduation rates.

Kitzrow notes that colleges and universities in the United States have seen enormous changes in their student populations over the past decades, and that the role and practice of college counselors has evolved in response to these changes, which include shifting social, economic and political realities and increased diversity among college student populations. She also relates a shift among student presenting co needs to more severe psychological problems (Kitzrow, 2003 p.168)9

suicidality, and as a result, Levine and Cureton note that 69% of four-year school student affairs officers numbers and for longer periods of time than in the past (p.95) 11 In addition, students face increased anxiety as a result of uncertain economic circumstances, and greater exposure to violent incidents on campus and off, such as interpersonal and family dysfunction, sexual and physical assault, domestic and international terrorism, and disasters, natural or otherwise. relate Levine and Cureton in their exploration of the pressures and anxieties

more damaged than those of previous years (Levine and Cureton 1998, p.95) 11 In response to such conditions, Robotham and Julian 2006, p.114)13. This research underscores the need for professionals with mental health training in advising roles, and demonstrates the value of psycho-social interventions as part of larger academic advising strategies.

Counselors and advisors working with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) populations face additional challenges in addressing student wellness and success, due at least in part to the rigor of the disciplines these students have chosen to pursue. The level of academic and personal stress and anxiety faced by STEM students is regarded as generally more intense than that attributed to general undergraduate populations; for example, Hackett, et al 1992, 8 p. 529) illustrating the emotional strain STEM students may face as a result of their pursuit of academically and intellectually demanding disciplines. Greenfield, Halloway, and Remus presciently noted ngineering, counseling must be


Winters, E., & Kao, I., & Dellaposta, J., & Szaraz, C. (2010, June), Strategies For Fostering The Academic Growth And Personal Development Of Pre Engineering And Pre Applied Science Majors Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16107

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