Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Engineering curricula are known to be challenging because they require high-level technical knowledge, critical thinking, and creative problem solving skills. The curricula are characterized as having long pre-requisite chains because high-level material requires understanding of core engineering knowledge, which in turn rests on a wide spectrum of math and science courses. In mechanical engineering, one of the critical pre-requisite chains involves the so called “mechanics sequence,” which runs from Physics to Statics and then to Mechanics and Dynamics. This paper examines how performance in these key classes affects students’ persistence in engineering, as measured by GPA at graduation and time-to-graduate. It is found that Statics has the largest impact on the academic success of struggling mechanical engineering students. While some students can overcome poor grades in Physics, struggles in Physics often foretell continued problems throughout the mechanical engineering curriculum.
Wingate, K. A., & Ferri, A. A., & Feigh, K. M. (2018, June), The Impact of the Physics, Statics, and Mechanics Sequence on Student Retention and Performance in Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31111
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