June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1221.1 - 15.1221.26
The EEES/Connector Faculty Program: Surveys of Attitudes, Experience and Evaluations Abstract
Retention of early engineering students is a nation-wide concern that will affect the strength of the future engineering workforce and the role of the United States as a dominant world player in engineering and technology. Increasing the number of undergraduate engineers can be accomplished by recruitment, retention, or a combination of both. The research described in this paper is part of a larger, integrated retention effort at Michigan State University College of Engineering that has been funded by a five-year NSF STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program) grant to “Engage Early Engineering Students (EEES)”. The project goals are to increase student retention locally by 10 percentage points and to provide a transferable model for increasing retention at other large state institutions.
Specifically this paper describes the research that was conducted during the Spring (January- May) 2009 term at Michigan State University by the Office for Survey Research (OSR) for the EEES team on one particular thrust of the project, the implementation of a “Connector Faculty” student mentoring program. The objective of the research was to establish baseline measures for the EEES project in general and the Connector Faculty (CF) program in particular. Results of four surveys taken of faculty and students are reported. While the program has not been in place long enough to determine college-wide retention outcomes, early results show that this program may have a positive effect on achieving the retention goals of this project.
The College of Engineering (COE) at Michigan State University (MSU) has embarked on a five- year program aimed at increasing student retention. Freshmen entering MSU may initially declare engineering as an intended major, but students are not officially accepted until they complete six required courses (generally as late sophomores or early juniors) and attain a required grade point average. Over the past five years, approximately 65% of the freshmen who declare their intention to enter engineering actually graduate from the college. The five-year program, titled Engaging Early Engineering Students (EEES) has set a goal of increasing that percentage to 75%.
Historically, about half of the students who begin with the intention to study engineering but do not graduate are not retained because of failing to meet the curriculum and grade requirements. A similar number choose a different course of study, even though they have successfully completed the required coursework. EEES is designed to help retain the prospective students in a four-part effort as shown in the graphic on the following page. Three of the parts are designed to help students meet the academic requirements of the program:
data-driven early intervention, making tools available to students who are seen as needing help with their core courses peer assisted learning (PAL) for undergraduate COE students who study in targeted gateway core courses
Briedis, D., & Ehrlich, N., & McDonough, C., & Sticklen, J., & Wolff, T. (2010, June), The Eees/Connector Faculty Program: Surveys Of Attitudes, Experience And Evaluations Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15911
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