Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Outreach and Retention
For decades, studies have documented the achievement gap for under-represented minorities (URM) and first-generation college students in STEM fields. Studies have suggested institutional and faculty-level changes that could reduce the achievement gap for minority students. Faculty attitudes about retention, and an assumption that primarily weak students are the ones leaving the program can be barriers to widespread change. In the Mechanical Engineering department at our institution there is an intuitive understanding of the lack of diversity in our programs, but we have only recently begun utilizing institutional data to understand our student body and the success or lack of success in different student populations. This study presents data obtained through a collaboration with our Analytics and Institutional Research department in our first attempt to understand more specifically the numbers around student persistence and retention in our program. This paper describes the results and implications of our project. Findings included that students from under-represented minority groups and first-generation college students do not succeed in our programs at the same rate as students not in those groups, and that female students succeed at higher rates than their male counterparts. This is consistent with the literature and powerful data that we hope can be used to motivate ourselves and our departments to meet our students where they are and improve success for all students. This project informed us on who is leaving our programs, and now we want to learn more about why and begin to strategize about how we can better serve students at a course, department, and School level.
McVey, M., & Luchies, C. W., & Wilson, S. E., & Maletsky, L. P., & Liu, L. (2020, June), Student Success in Mechanical Engineering: Utilizing Data to Understand Success for Underrepresented Groups Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35242
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