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The Influence Of Mathematics Preparation On The Retention And Academic Achievement Of Underrepresented Engineering Students

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Retention Issues

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

11.1305.1 - 11.1305.18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--665

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/665

Download Count

65

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Paper Authors

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Annita Alting City College of the City University of New York

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Ardie Walser City College of the City University of New York

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Influence of Mathematics Preparation on the Retention and Academic Achievement of Underrepresented Engineering Students

Abstract

The Grove School of Engineering (SOE) at the City College of New York (CCNY) is an urban institution of higher learning. One of the School’s missions is to provide education to a highly diverse student body, including traditionally underrepresented minorities, women, working adults, and immigrants in the greater New York metropolitan area. The admissions criteria of the School of Engineering are under continuous review and one of the purposes of this study is to provide data to support decisions about those criteria. We wish to determine what actually influences the success or failure of an engineering student. This will help the School to develop more effective tools to increase retention and academic achievement. This paper focuses on the impact of math preparation on academic achievement and retention among students in the cohort of fall 1999. Special attention is paid to transfer students and predictors of retention and academic achievement that are specific to transfer students, such as the number of transfer credits in subjects relevant to engineering, possession of an associate degree, and the nature of the transferring institution. The results show that the number of credits in math and science and previous GPA are the strongest predictors of retention and academic achievement among transfers in the School of Engineering.

1. Introduction

Like most engineering schools across the country, the Grove School of Engineering (SOE) at the City College of New York (CCNY) is engaged in the implementation of a process of continuous improvement in its engineering curriculum. As an urban commuting college, one of the School’s missions is to provide education to a highly diverse student body, including traditionally underrepresented minorities, working adults, and immigrants in the metropolitan New York area. The breakdown of undergraduate ethnic groups from fall 1992-2001 at CCNY was: Black 29.6%, Hispanic 26.0% and Asian 13.5% and for fall 2001 women represented 20.1% of the college's engineering majors.

In the period under consideration in this paper, the School of Engineering offered six bachelor degrees, in civil engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. All six engineering programs require the mathematics sequence calculus I, II and III, differential equations and linear algebra, the first four with a grade of C or better. The prerequisite to enroll in all upper freshman and sophomore level engineering courses is at least calculus I with a grade of C or better. With the exception of computer science, completion of the first calculus based physics course with a grade of C or better is also required. This makes satisfactory completion of calculus I the deciding requirement for progress in any engineering program.

Alting, A., & Walser, A. (2006, June), The Influence Of Mathematics Preparation On The Retention And Academic Achievement Of Underrepresented Engineering Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--665

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