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Summer Engineering Enrichment Program Results Exceed Expectations

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 7: The Transition from High School to College

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1440.1 - 26.1440.16



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Paper Authors


Robert W. Whalin Jackson State University

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Dr. Whalin, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director, Coastal Hazards Center, Jackson State University. He is Director Emeritus of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. He received his PhD in Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 1971 and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Dr. Whalin was Director of Army Research Laboratory (1998-2003; Adelphi, MD), and Technical Director /Director of Waterways Experiment Station (1985-1998; Vicksburg, MS). He has authored/co-authored over a hundred technical papers and reports during his career in private industry, government and academia. His current research interests are nearshore wave transformations, coastal structures, tsunami inundation, hurricane surges, high performance computing, and engineering education.

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Qing J Pang Jackson State University

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Ms Qing Pang is Instructor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science, Engineering & Technology, Jackson State University. She earned her MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000. She worked for several private companies before joining Jackson State University in 2007 as an research associate. Her current teaching and research interests are robotics, wireless sensor networks, signal processing, embedded software and engineering education.

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Summer Engineering Enrichment Program Results Exceed ExpectationsA long term ten week residence engineering enrichment program for incoming first timefreshman engineering majors with ACT Math scores of 17-25 is exceeding expectations,especially time to graduate expectations. Over sixty percent of first time freshman have ACTMath scores in this range (21.0 average for last five years). The principle reason for studentschanging majors in the first two years was historical challenges in success with the calculuscourse sequence in a timely manner. The summer program was designed to directly address thismathematics preparation challenge by enrolling students in College Algebra and UniversitySuccess(required) in the first summer term and in Trigonometry the second summer term toprepare them for success in Calculus I during the fall semester. Students visit engineeringemployers and are briefed by alumni in their workplace. The students live together in thedormitory and are mentored to become a community of engineering learners. Courses are taughtin the Engineering Building to establish an early sense of pride and belonging to the engineeringstudent community. Students meet with engineering advisors during the second summer termand register for the fall semester. The program was initiated in summer 2009 with 24 studentsand has reached 209 students in the six cohorts to date. Our historical four year engineeringgraduation rate was less than five percent for first time freshman. There have been twelve fouryear graduates from the first two cohorts translating to 20%, (12/61). This increase greatlyexceeded expectations and is approaching the six year graduation rate. An additional four 2009cohort students graduated in four years and one semester for a 4.5 year engineering graduationrate of 29% (7/24). The five year STEM graduation rate for the 2009 cohort was 37.5% (9/24),and the five year university graduation rate was 46% (11/24). A detailed examination of ACTMath scores of the 16 engineering graduates revealed that 14/16 or 87.5% of graduates to datehad ACT Math scores from 20-25 and only 2/16 or 12.5% had scores of 17-19. These twogroups have about the same number of students. Data from several more years of graduates areneeded to quantify the statistical significance of this trend. The paper contains comprehensiveanalyses of one to five year retention and graduation data in engineering, in STEM and in theuniversity. Results have exceeded original expectations in most all areas and are described indetail.

Whalin, R. W., & Pang, Q. J. (2015, June), Summer Engineering Enrichment Program Results Exceed Expectations Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24777

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