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Strengthening Math Skills of Incoming Engineering Freshmen through a Bridge Program

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Conference

2019 FYEE Conference

Location

Penn State University , Pennsylvania

Publication Date

July 28, 2019

Start Date

July 28, 2019

End Date

July 30, 2019

Conference Session

T1C: Developing Foundations in Mathematics

Tagged Topic

FYEE Conference - Paper Submission

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/33727

Download Count

51

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Paper Authors

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Jacquelyn Huff Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jackie Huff received her MS (2005) and BS (2003) from the University of Illinois in the area of Electrical Engineering. After a stint of working in industry, she earned a teaching certificate and spent 6 years in public schools teaching students the joys of mathematics. In 2016, she transitioned to teaching intro engineering courses in a university setting. Currently Jackie is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Penn State University with the School of Engineering Design, Technology & Professional Programs. Her research interests center on the transition of students from high school to 4-year engineering programs, especially those from under-represented populations.

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Kristi J. Shryock Texas A&M University

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Dr. Kristi J. Shryock is the Associate Department Head and Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She received her BS, MS, and PhD from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M. Kristi works to improve the undergraduate engineering experience through evaluating preparation in mathematics and physics, incorporating non-traditional teaching methods into the classroom, and engaging her students with interactive methods.

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Andrea M. Ogilvie P.E. Texas A&M University

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Andrea M. Ogilvie, Ph.D., P.E. serves as Assistant Dean for Student Success and Assistant Professor of Instruction at Texas A&M University. Prior to her current appointment, Andrea served as Director of the Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Her expertise includes: project management, program assessment, university-industry partnerships, grant writing, and student development in the co-curricular learning environment with a special focus on recruiting, supporting, and graduating students from groups historically underrepresented in engineering. Since 2014, Andrea’s primary research has focused on investigating transfer student pathways to engineering degrees through a multi-institutional study based in Texas (NSF EEC-1428502). She holds multiple degrees in engineering and public affairs from UT Austin (BSCE, MPAff) and Virginia Tech (MS ISE, PhD).

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Danisha Stern Texas A&M University

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A graduate of Texas A&M, Danisha is passionate about improving the experiences engineering students have at the university. As a student at Texas A&M, Danisha was involved in IEEE-Tech, NSBE, SWE, SHPE, and the Engineering Ambassadors Program. As a professional she is involved in NSBE, NAMEPA, NACME, WEPAN, and TABPHE. She has worked in Engineering Academic and Student Affairs for over 10 years focusing on recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups and continues to implement the groundwork for enrichment programs.

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Sonia Garcia Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sonia Garcia is the Senior Director for the Access and Inclusion Program in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She joined the college in 2014. In this role, Garcia is responsible for the initiation, development, management, evaluation, and promotion of research informed and strategic comprehensive activities and programs for the recruitment and success of historically underrepresented minority students and under-served communities in engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Through pre-college efforts, in collaboration with the Women in Engineering Program, the Office of Admissions at Texas A&M University, and high school partners, Garcia has provided hundreds of students attending partner Texas’ high schools, the opportunity to participate in hands-on engineering activities as well as experiencing life in a college campus. Many of these students have since decided to pursue a degree in engineering at Texas A&M, and Garcia continues to work with them to ensure their success. In fact, her efforts over the last two years alongside other engineering programs have resulted in an increase of African American and Hispanic students in engineering.
Garcia also directs community-building and peer-mentorship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, giving underrepresented students the opportunity to build confidence and camaraderie. These programs include the Engineering Success Program, established to provide academic support to first-generation underrepresented college students, and the Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research Program, a high impact learning and research opportunity called ELCIR Program that offers freshmen underrepresented engineering students a chance to participate in a one-credit class and research project while gaining global experience with a research trip to Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Garcia also leads efforts coordinating and directing the Engineering Summer Bridge Program, which gives first-generation underrepresented students a head start on engineering and math courses before their first semester begins. Access and Inclusion has received grants and endowments to support these programs, totaling nearly $1 million.
Before joining the College of Engineering, Garcia served as program coordinator then promoted to assistant director of outreach and diversity at Mays Business School at Texas A&M. She later served as director of recruitment in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M. In both capacities, she created, managed and developed projects and programs to enhance the presence of underserved underrepresented students in science and in business. During her tenure at Mays Business School and the College of Geosciences, Garcia developed instrumental programs to ensure the retention of first time in college underrepresented minority students. Garcia also served as a lecturer at both colleges introductory freshman seminars focusing on culture and diversity.
She has received many awards throughout her professional career, including an Outstanding Staff award from the Mays Business School in 2005, the 2008 President’s Award for Academic Advising, the 2011 Latino American Who’s Who for her achievements in advancing the culture of the Latino American business community, and the 2012 Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award in the College of Geosciences for her work on increasing diversity in STEM.
Garcia received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, her M.S. in Human Development from the University of Rhode Island, and her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. She speaks Spanish, English and Italian fluently, and is well-versed in French.

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Shawna Fletcher Texas A&M University

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SHAWNA L. FLETCHER is Director of the Women in Engineering Program at Texas A&M University and has held similar positions at Arizona State University (1997-2007) and The Ohio State University (2011-2015). Fletcher has been President of the Arizona Promoters of Applied Science in Education (APASE) since 2006, a non-profit organization that has hosted the National Underwater Robotics Challenge (2007 - 2013). She holds an M.S degree in Bioengineering and B.S. degrees in Physiological Psychology and Microbiology from Arizona State University. Since 1997, she has been dedicated to engineering recruitment/retention programs and K-12 STEM educational efforts in Arizona, Ohio and Texas. Her primary responsibilities include outreach, retention and placement programs for women in the College of Engineering.

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Abstract

Full Paper: Strengthening Math Skills of Incoming Engineering Freshmen through a Bridge Program

Fifty female first-generation incoming engineering students attended a summer bridge program at Texas A&M University in 2018 with a significant focus on improving math skills. As part of the program, all students took a no-credit supplemental math course that was designed to strengthen math skills and ease the transition to university-level math and engineering courses from high school. The designers and instructors of this course took an approach that worked to draw connections between math concepts. Instead of simply reviewing concepts or putting the students through a “drill-and-kill” bootcamp, participants worked together to forge understandings of fundamental mathematical concepts. An emphasis was placed on understanding mathematics as a system of ideas, rather than a set of rules that all had their own narrow application. In addition, students were asked to partake in several metacognitive exercises to examine how they learn and think about math and question if their assumptions about mathematics and the practice of mathematics were valid. Participants met with instructors for 2 hours each day, 5 days per week, and instruction was supplemented with small-group practice sessions (4-5 students) that were led by current engineering students at Texas A&M. As a result of the four-week course, many students saw significant gains in their math placement exam score, which is used to determine first-semester math course placement. This paper will discuss these outcomes and will also examine the performance of participants during their first semester in the College of Engineering.

Huff, J., & Shryock, K. J., & Ogilvie, A. M., & Stern, D., & Garcia, S., & Fletcher, S. (2019, July), Strengthening Math Skills of Incoming Engineering Freshmen through a Bridge Program Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://strategy.asee.org/33727

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