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Teaching Lean LaunchPad to Transfer Students to Increase Engagement and Persistence

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Luke Nogales New Mexico State University

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Luke Nogales is passionate about helping innovators reach their potential. Luke is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Technology department at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and an Enterprise Advisor for NMSU’s on-campus incubator, the Arrowhead Center. He teaches courses in mechanical design, innovation, and product development. Luke is co-founder of the Aggie Innovation Space, a space that fosters collaboration and supports innovation in NMSU's College of Engineering. Prior to NMSU, Luke was an innovator at Procter & Gamble and Sandia National Labs. He has developed new products and businesses for a variety of markets and industries, ranging from eco-conscious North Americans to bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers in developing markets to government agencies dedicated to national security. Luke has a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from NMSU and an MS in Product Design and Development from Northwestern University.

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Rolfe Sassenfeld New Mexico State University

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Dr. Rolfe Sassenfeld, son of German Rocket Scientist Dr. Helmut Sassenfeld, earned his Doctoral degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas, El Paso. He has worked in higher education for 25 years as a Director of Instructional Technology, Computer Science Faculty, and Research Assistant Professor. He is presently an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Electronics and Computer Engineering program in the Engineering Technology department of New Mexico State University. His research focus is developing and teaching Android App development to engineers and entrepreneurs with innovative tools that can be utilized by programming novices. He is also an instructor and course developer for his college's Freshmen Year Experience.

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We present a work in progress that demonstrates increased engagement and academic persistence by transfer engineering students when the Lean LaunchPad™ (LLP) methodology is applied to teach the engineering design process. Transfer students entering engineering programs typically do not receive the same level of attention entering freshman do. New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Howard University (HU) saw an opportunity to improve academic persistence, graduation rates, and overall experience by co-developing a program that helps transfer students be more successful. A collaborative 3-year grant was awarded from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Broadening Participation in Engineering program. The objective of the grant is to increase persistence and graduation rates by increasing engagement and by developing a sense of community amongst transfer engineering students.

A week-long workshop that uses the LLP framework was developed to help students design and develop a predetermined university-oriented innovation project. During the workshop, students work in teams, interact with faculty, and visit various parts of campus. While working to identify “product-market fit,” students learn about hypothesis development, test design, hypothesis testing, customer discovery, data analysis, insight generation, and the importance of an iterative process. After two years, preliminary survey results and qualitative evidence at NMSU shows the LLP workshop participants have higher GPA levels as compared to their engineering peers.

Nogales, L., & Sassenfeld, R. (2017, June), Teaching Lean LaunchPad to Transfer Students to Increase Engagement and Persistence Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28920

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