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The Effects of Calculus I on Engineering Student Persistence

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Mathematics in the First Year

Tagged Divisions

First-Year Programs and Mathematics

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33386

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/33386

Download Count

84

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Paper Authors

biography

Amie Baisley Utah State University

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I have a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.S. in structural engineering from Arizona State University. After graduating, I became a lecturer at ASU in civil engineering. During my time teaching I really became interested in engineering education and knew I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in that field. After moving to Utah and finding the program at Utah State University, I have really enjoyed diving in to the education world. I am most interested in the sophomore level courses that engineering students typically take and how changes in those courses can impact student learning and retention.

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V. Dean Adams Utah State University

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Abstract

The number of students that start in engineering and persist to graduation with an engineering degree is continually declining with the attrition rate currently around 50%. This concern with engineering student retention has pointed to many issues including the early math requirements, specifically, Calculus I. Calculus I has often been referred to as a “bottle-neck” course for any engineering degree program, which implies that if a student can successfully complete this course then they are more likely to persist in the degree program. This study uses a longitudinal data set to determine how grades received in Calculus I along with other pre-college and demographic variables can predict persistence of engineering students. In many cases, this math course is taken prior to any technical engineering course, and this study shows how impactful the academic result of this course is for an engineering student. The results indicate the student outcomes after taking Calculus I, the grade distribution of students in the course, and a predictive model of persistence. The model considers the grade the student received in Calculus I, whether the student chose to retake the course, and other predictive variables to determine which students are more likely to persist in engineering or leave the engineering degree program.

Baisley, A., & Adams, V. D. (2019, June), The Effects of Calculus I on Engineering Student Persistence Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33386

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