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The Effect of Cooperative Education and Contextual Support on the Retention of Undergraduate Engineering Students

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

CEED - Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

26

Page Numbers

23.1190.1 - 23.1190.26

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22575

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Joseph A Raelin Northeastern University

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Joe Raelin is an internationally-recognized scholar in the fields of work-based learning and leadership. He holds the Asa. S. Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education at Northeastern University in Boston and is also Professor of Management in the D'Amore-McKim College of Business. Among his many publications is the book: Work-Based Learning: Bridging Knowledge and Action in the Workplace (Jossey-Bass, 2008). Joe is recipient of the 2010 David Bradford Outstanding Educator Award from the OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators as well as the 2013 National CEIA James W. Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to research in the field of cooperative education.

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Margaret B. Bailey Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Dr. Margaret B. Bailey, P.E. is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) located in Rochester, New York. Dr. Bailey teaches courses and conducts research related to Thermodynamics, engineering and public policy, engineering education, and gender in engineering and science. She is the co-author on an engineering textbook, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics. At the university level, Dr. Bailey serves as Faculty Associate to the Provost for Female Faculty and she co-chairs the President’s Commission on Women.

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Jerry Carl Hamann University of Wyoming

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Jerry Hamann is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming. His academic interests include applied signal processing and control, computational numerical methods, and STEM education methods. He is a "recovering administrator," having just completed a four-year hitch as department head of Computer Science at the University of Wyoming. Professional activities include membership in IEEE, ACM and ASEE. When he's not in the office or lab you're likely to find him engaged in volunteer activities including ski patrolling, search and rescue, and emergency medical tasks.

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David L. Whitman University of Wyoming

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David L. Whitman, P.E., Ph.D. received the B.S. degree (1975) in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. degree (1978) in Mineral Engineering, both from the University of Wyoming. He worked in the synthetic fuels arena prior to becoming a faculty member in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming in 1981. From 1989 to 2005, he was the Associate Dean of Academics and since 2005 has been a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received UW's College of Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1990 and 2004 and the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001. He is currently the Past President of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES), chairman of the IEEE-USA Licensure & Registration Committee and an active member of ASEE.

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Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

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Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. She is the PI on the Pathways research grant funded by NSF's Gender in Science and Engineering program. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions in IBM, Hanover Insurance, and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

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Leslie K. Pendleton Virginia Tech

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Dr. Pendleton is Director of Student Services in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. In addition to her administrative, advising, outreach, and research responsibilities, she developed and teaches a required Engineering Professionalism course for electrical and computer engineering sophomores and serves as her department's primary corporate liaison. She has also taught courses in Women's & Gender Studies and coordinated various support programs for women and underrepresented minorities in engineering.

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Abstract

The Effect of Cooperative Education, Contextual Support, and Self-Efficacy on the Retention of Undergraduate Engineering StudentsAbstractThis study examines the effect of demographic characteristics, cooperative education, contextualsupport, and three dimensions of self-efficacy and their change over time on the retention ofundergraduate engineering students. It is based on a pathways model that links contextualsupport and cooperative education and other forms of student work experience to self-efficacy asa basis for retention in college and in the engineering major. It is also longitudinal; so itexamines measures at three time periods during the students’ academic experience: the second,third, and fourth years.The data pool was constituted of all second-year students in the colleges of engineering fromfour participating universities. Student respondents initially filled out a 20-minute survey,among which were assessments of three forms of self-efficacy. They then filled out comparablepost-surveys one and two years later (as third and fourth-year students) during which thoseselecting co-op could have completed their first and second co-op placements.The findings verified the pathways model. Academic self-efficacy and contextual support in alltime periods were found to be critical to retention. Contextual support was found to beparticularly important to women and appears to serve as an inducement to stay in school and inengineering. Work self-efficacy, developed by students between their second and fourth years inschool, was also an important factor in retention, though it is strongly tied to the students’participation in co-op programs.Besides academic self-efficacy, the overwhelming critical predictor of retention was the numberof co-ops a student participated in. Among the demographic variables, a relatively high GPAwas found to be an inducement to persist in engineering and in school. It was also found, at thesecond survey point of the study, that a student’s prior SAT scores had a measurable effect onretention.Among the contextual support variables, support from friends and from one’s college was foundto explain retention at the time of the first survey reflecting on their freshmen year experience.In an unexpected but modest finding, those students who persisted in the major and in schoolwere more critical of their instructors than those who left. Finally those students who wereaccustomed to work over a relatively long period of time were especially more inclined to leavethe university compared to those who had less work experience in their lifetimes.The findings for co-op and contextual support in this study confirm the value of strong college-industry partnerships to provide quality placements for vital entry experiences within theworkplace and to provide support, especially to women undergraduates, in the form of campusengagements to urge students to graduate and enter the engineering workforce.

Raelin, J. A., & Bailey, M. B., & Hamann, J. C., & Whitman, D. L., & Reisberg, R., & Pendleton, L. K. (2013, June), The Effect of Cooperative Education and Contextual Support on the Retention of Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22575

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