Asee peer logo

Success in Engineering Study of Under-Prepared Students

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35778

Download Count

19

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Leslie Bartsch Massey University of Arkansas

visit author page

Leslie Massey is an instructor in the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. She received her BS in Biological Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a project manager at a water resources center, but returned to the University of Arkansas to teach general Introduction to Engineering and to coordinator for the First-Year Honors Innovation Experience.

visit author page

biography

Aysa Galbraith University of Arkansas

visit author page

Dr. Aysa Galbraith is a Teaching Assistant Professor of First-Year Engineering Program and an academic advisor at University of Arkansas. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Chemical and Biomolecular Department at North Carolina State University in 2006. She is responsible from teaching Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Applications of Mathematics classes, developing course material, and advising freshman engineering students.

visit author page

biography

Heath Aren Schluterman University of Arkansas

visit author page

Dr. Heath Schluterman is a Teaching Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of Academics for the First-Year Engineering Program at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Schluterman completed his B.S. and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

visit author page

biography

Brandon Crisel

visit author page

I am a 10 year veteran instructor at the University of Arkansas with a BS and MS in Mathematics with emphasis in Statistics and applied Math. I began working in the Math Department, teaching service courses. While there, I taught College Algebra, Math for Elementary Teachers 1 and 2, Mathematical Reasoning, and Finite Mathematics. I also helped spearhead our department's online initiative to both flip classes while simultaneously creating an online program for our service courses. I was also the Testing Coordinator, where I managed the Testing and Tutoring Centers and their staff. I also created, maintained, supported, and administered the Online Math Placement Test and its related documentation. Through this job, I grew a relationship with the members of our Freshmen Engineering Program (FEP) as their students were one of the largest populations that interacted with the placement exam. Later, an opportunity arose to take a position that would be a 50/50 split between Math and FEP, where I taught sequences of Introduction to Engineering themed in Electronics, Robotics, and Structures. I have since moved entirely to a full time instructor for FEP, where I have helped redesign the Electronics and Robotics theme and develop a new common Computing theme.

visit author page

author page

Candace Auburn Rainwater University of Arkansas

Download Paper |

Abstract

In 2014, the College of Engineering considered establishing admissions criteria beyond the basic requirements to enter the University. With the hopes of increasing second-year retention and graduation rates, the College wanted to create their own admissions criteria that would exclude students from entering the college until they were eligible to enroll in a math course of pre-calculus or higher. The dean of the college, however, championed the under-prepared and often minority students who typically require this remedial math course. In fall 2014, the faculty voted not to create additional admissions criteria but instead to create a new path that would hopefully increase the success in math and engineering academics in this under-prepared student population.

Since the First-Year Engineering Program began in 2007, the second-year retention rate has ranged from 67-71%. Four-Year graduation rates for the college of engineering averaged 30% from 2007-2013 but increased to 32% in the 2014 and 36% in the 2015 freshman classes. Five-year graduation rates average 45% from 2007-2013 and increased to 48% for the 2015 freshman class. At our University, students are placed into a math course based on their ACT or SAT math scores or through AP or college credit for a prerequisite course. Previous to 2014, all students who wanted to major in engineering began their course of study in Introduction to Engineering I. This course covered unit conversions, dimensional analysis and basics of programming; it was assumed that students had sufficient skills in college algebra. Beginning in 2014, students who placed into a math course of pre-calculus or higher took the Introduction to Engineering Course sequence as defined by the eight-semester degree plans. Students who did not have the math requisites were required to take a remedial engineering course called Success in Engineering Study that focused on study skills and math skills development with the learning outcome of becoming successful engineering students. The students who successfully completed their remedial math course then moved on to Introduction to Engineering I.

Approximately 85% of our first-year engineering students qualify to enroll in a math course of pre-calculus or higher, and 15% qualify for college algebra. Conclusions on the success of the Success in Engineering Study course are constrained because of limited data (low n values) and some statistical analyses showed no significant improvement in retention and graduation although meaningful positive trends were observed. Thus, we continue to look for significant changes in student success as more students participate in Success in Engineering Study. We continue to consider other ways of retaining this population of students.

Massey, L. B., & Galbraith, A., & Schluterman, H. A., & Crisel, B., & Rainwater, C. A. (2020, July), Success in Engineering Study of Under-Prepared Students Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. https://peer.asee.org/35778

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015