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The Edge Summer Program In Its Third Year

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Recruiting/Retention Lower Division

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1276.1 - 11.1276.7



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Paper Authors


Dan Dimitriu San Antonio College

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DAN G. DIMITRIU has been practicing engineering since 1970 and taught engineering courses concurrently for over 20 years. He has been involved with several engineering societies and was elected vice-chair of the Two-Year College Division of ASEE in 2005. He has been the coordinator of the Engineering Program at San Antonio College since 2001. His research interests are: alternative fuels, fuel cells, plastics, and engineering education.

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Jerry O'Connor San Antonio College

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JERRY ⁏CONNOR has been teaching physics (and a few engineering courses) at San Antonio College since 1987.
He was the Campus Coordinator for the Texas Alliance for Minority Participation program from 1993 to 2002,
and is currently the Department Chairperson for Physics, Engineering, & Architecture. He has been involved in numerous initiatives to integrate the findings of physics and engineering education research with education practice.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

At this point we abandoned the original program model and set up two parallel learning community (LC) cohorts with a slightly more rigorous version of Computer Literacy and the Introduction to Engineering course. In the afternoon sessions students were required to participate in the PLATO Fastrack Advantage program to improve their math proficiency and also had problem solving sessions guided by their study group leaders. Only 26 of the 35 students who were accepted actually started the program, some because of the change in the courses offered.

Program Details

EDGE students were required to meet the same admission requirements as other college-level students, and paid only a $25 entry fee. As in the previous years, students attended the two classes in the morning from 9:00 AM to noon, Monday through Friday for eight weeks. The afternoon activities consisting of supervised study (SS1) and student success (SS2) sessions were held from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Each class cohort was split into two smaller study groups, each with a designated Study Leader trained in group learning methods (similar to Supplemental Instruction) prior to the start of the program. The training also emphasized the value of collaborative learning and peer support, and explained the purpose and function of Learning Communities. The SS1 sessions provided a supportive environment for students to work together on homework and group projects while building a sense of community and shared success. The SS2 sessions were one hour long and included the entire class, along with the SS1 Leaders. These sessions included workshops on study techniques, test taking, guest speakers, and special presentations on topics pertaining to the field of engineering. At least one half hour every day was reserved for the PLATO Fastrack Advantage program. There were also four field trips conducted to introduce students to engineering activities in two privately owned local companies, one quasi-governmental agency, and the San Antonio College planetarium.

One faculty member taught both sections of the Engineering course and one faculty member taught both sections of the Computer Literacy course. The consistency of faculty helped in the development of the learning communities, and aided in the management of the supervised study sessions. The faculty held weekly meetings to coordinate the course material and testing schedules between the two courses.

Program Results

All students completing the EDGE 2005 Program received productive grades and college credit for both courses. The distribution of final grades is presented in Table 1 below.

Productive A B C D F W Grade Rates ENGR 1201 14 10 1 0 0 1 96% COSC 1301 15 9 1 0 0 1 96% Table 1: Final Grades posted for the entire group

Dimitriu, D., & O'Connor, J. (2006, June), The Edge Summer Program In Its Third Year Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--90

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