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The Fifth Year Of The Edge Program – A New Beginning

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Two Year College Tech Session III

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1227.1 - 13.1227.11



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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

The Fifth Year of the EDGE Program – A New Beginning


This paper presents a brief description and history of the EDGE (Early Development of General Engineering) Summer Bridge Program that was initiated in 2003 1 and focuses on the fifth iteration of the program. This project has been supported by grants from the Department of Education (MSEIP P120A050080) and Alamo Community College District Foundation.

Brief History of the Program

The original version of this summer bridging program was intended to serve well-prepared high school students in the 10th and 11th grades who would have participated in the San Antonio Pre- freshman Engineering Program (PREP) 2. EDGE was designed to introduce them to college level course work as a learning community and provide activities to help them develop independent learning and teamwork skills with the goal of increasing their likelihood of earning a college degree in engineering, science, math, or other related field. The learning community courses offered were Introduction to Engineering and College Algebra. Since the total number of applicants, as well as the fraction eligible for College Algebra, was disappointingly low (see Table 5), we implemented two significant changes for the following year. One was our method of promoting the program and the other was to restructure the program to accommodate students who were not ready for College Algebra. For the second year of EDGE, our advertising efforts were more focused on making direct contact with high school principals and school district administrators, and College Algebra was replaced with Computer Literacy as the second learning community course. Supplemental work with computer assisted Math instruction was also added.

The change in marketing strategy was effective, and the number of applications increased considerably from the first year. However, only half of the applicants met college admission requirements, and the math placement scores were even lower. While the results of the EDGE II Program were satisfactory, they were not quite as good as EDGE I, and students were not sufficiently challenged by the Computer Literacy course 3. This prompted us to return to our original course offerings for EDGE III in 2005, and to add 12th graders to our targeted student population. The results of this strategy failed to produce a sufficient number of applicants who scored high enough on the math placement test to enroll in College Algebra, and we reverted to the previous learning community courses, (Introduction to Engineering and Computer Literacy). The Computer Literacy course was modified slightly to provide more advanced assignments and better integration with the Introduction to Engineering course, and the coursework was supplemented by computer assisted Math instruction as before 4.

For the following year (EDGE IV-2006), the program was more substantially revised to address the inadequate challenge provided by the Computer Literacy course. It was replaced with an enhanced Conceptual Physics course, and the afternoon computer assisted math training was extended and made mandatory. Also added to EDGE IV was an enhanced College Algebra course offered (on Saturdays) during the following fall semester. This course was made available to all qualified EDGE students (current and previous). An option for students to

Dimitriu, D., & O'Connor, J. (2008, June), The Fifth Year Of The Edge Program – A New Beginning Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3199

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: © 2008 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