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The Effects of Co-Enrollment on the Retention and Success of Mechanical Engineering Freshmen

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 5B: Work-In-Progress: 5 Minute Postcard Session II

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/p.26147

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26147

Download Count

315

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Paper Authors

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Laura A. Ruhala Kennesaw State University

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Laura Ruhala, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kennesaw State University, a newly formed university resulting from the consolidation of Southern Polytechnic State University and the former Kennesaw State University. Prior Laura was an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Indiana. She enjoys research in biomechanics, impact, and engineering education. Laura earned her PhD from Penn State and her BSME from GMI Engineering & Management Institute, now known as Kettering University. She has years of industrial experience at General Motors and Pride Mobility. She has been involved with ASEE since 1996, most recently as a Director in the Mechanics Division. She lives in the Atlanta area with her wonderful husband, Richard, and their precious dog, Rosebud.

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Hillary Steiner Kennesaw State University

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Hillary H. Steiner, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Director of Learning Communities in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Cognition and Development from the University of Georgia in 2003, where a portion of her dissertation research was named “Paper of the Year” by Gifted Child Quarterly. A recipient of the American Psychological Association's national Teaching Excellence Award, she teaches first-year seminars and introductory psychology in a variety of learning communities. Her current research and professional interests include metacognition and self-regulation, faculty development, and the use of targeted learning communities to ensure STEM students thrive in their first year of college.

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Catherine L. Bradford Kennesaw State University

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Catherine L. Bradford is Director of Kennesaw State University’s Learning Communities Program and incoming Chair of the National Learning Communities Consortium, host of the annual National Learning Communities Conference. She teaches the first-year seminar within learning communities and provides academic and graduation coaching for a group of students attending the university on state-funded merit scholarships.

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Ruth Ann Goldfine Kennesaw State University

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Ruth A. Goldfine, PhD, is a tenured Professor and Chair of the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University, a position she has held since 2013. She holds a doctorate in English and has been teaching in higher education for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, Ruth held a position as a Technical Editor at the University of Dayton Research Institute, where she worked closely with engineering faculty engaged in research projects. Throughout her career in academia, Ruth has worked primarily with first-year students, initially as an instructor of English composition and later as a first-year seminar professor. Her work in the classroom continues to inform her research, which is focused on first-year students, students in transition, and, most recently, first-year STEM students. Her research interests also include the use of technology in the composition classroom, first-generation students, and students in transitions beyond the first year of college.

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Nirmal Trivedi Kennesaw State University

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Dr. Nirmal Trivedi is the Director of First-Year Seminars and Assistant Professor of English at Kennesaw State University. His research and teaching areas include first-year seminars, common intellectual experiences, peer mentoring, and digital pedagogy.

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Scott Larisch Kennesaw State University

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Born in the east and reared in the Rockies, Scott Larisch holds certain degrees in higher education from appropriate schools with sufficient pedigree. After a brief sojourn as a slave of academe he pursued careers in research, aviation, and consulting. He returned to academe when he discovered that it was here that he could do what he most enjoyed and surround himself (for the most part) with people he enjoyed being around. Scott has traveled the country extensively, ultimately selecting a California girl as his life-partner and supreme leader. They have been residents of The South for two decades and consider it their adopted home. Together, they have four children, each special in their own way. In his spare time (hah!), Scott enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and (almost) any sport that involves water. His current goals are to master the guitar, the longboard, and the FlowRider®.

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Abstract

This Work-In-Progress paper describes ongoing efforts at Kennesaw State University to combine a two-credit introduction-to-major course with a three-credit first-year seminar course. We are also implementing learning communities that will tie first-year introduction-to-major courses with other first-year courses such as English Composition 1 (ENGL 1101) and Introduction to Graphics. Since Mechanical Engineering is the largest engineering department at Kennesaw State, we are piloting this idea with a three-credit Introduction to Mechanical Engineering (ME 1001) course that includes learning outcomes typically found in a first-year seminar course. While trying to create a learning community for this project last fall, we experienced complications getting all instructors to agree to collaborate on content and assignments, which afforded us the opportunity to investigate the effects of co-enrollment alone on the academic success of first-year mechanical engineering students taking the same sections of a 2-credit-hour ME 1001 and a 3-credit-hour ENGL 1101. Academic success in ME 1001 among the students who were co-enrolled and those who were not co-enrolled is compared in this study. The success of the students was tracked using the following rubrics: attendance, course grades, peer evaluations during the design project, and retention for the following semester in the mechanical engineering program. The students that were co-enrolled had similar attendance and peer evaluation rates in the ME 1001 class, but earned lower grades in all areas. However the retention of the students that were co-enrolled was higher during the subsequent semester. Deeper analysis into the profiles of the students indicated that there were additional contributing factors to student success, and that student maturity and university experience may outweigh potential benefits of co-enrollment.

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Ruhala, L. A., & Steiner, H., & Bradford, C. L., & Goldfine, R. A., & Trivedi, N., & Larisch, S. (2016, June), The Effects of Co-Enrollment on the Retention and Success of Mechanical Engineering Freshmen Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26147

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015