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The Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: Longitudinal Impact on Initially Underprepared Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1580.1 - 26.1580.11



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Paper Authors


Nathan W. Klingbeil Wright State University

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Nathan Klingbeil is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Wright State University. He is the lead PI for Wright State’s National Model for Engineering Mathematics Education, which has been supported by both NSF STEP Type 1 and CCLI Phase 3 awards. He has received numerous awards for his work in engineering education, and was named the 2005 Ohio Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

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Anthony Bourne Wright State University

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Dr. Bourne is the Director of Enrollment Management at Wright State University and completed his PhD in Engineering at Wright State. He holds a BA in Economics and MPA. His research focus is in engineering education and student success measures in engineering curriculum.

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The Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: Longitudinal Impact on Initially Underprepared StudentsAbstractThe inability of incoming students to advance past the traditional first-year calculus sequence is aprimary cause of attrition in engineering programs across the country. As a result, this paper willsummarize an NSF funded initiative at Wright State University to redefine the way engineeringmathematics is taught, with the goal of increasing student retention, motivation and success inengineering.The Wright State model begins with the development of a novel first-year engineeringmathematics course, EGR 101 “Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications.”Taught by engineering faculty, the course includes lecture, laboratory and recitation components.Using an application-oriented, hands-on approach, the course addresses only the salient mathtopics actually used in core engineering courses. These include the traditional physics,engineering mechanics, electric circuits and computer programming sequences. The EGR 101course replaces traditional math prerequisite requirements for the above core courses, so thatstudents can advance in the curriculum without first completing a traditional first-year calculussequence. The Wright State model concludes with a more just-in-time structuring of the requiredmath sequence, in concert with college and ABET requirements. The result has shifted thetraditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineeringmotivation for math.The Wright State model was first implemented in Fall of 2004, and its effect on studentretention, motivation and success in engineering has since been widely reported. The 2007introduction of EGR 199 as a precursor to EGR 101 for initially underprepared students (thoseplacing 2-3 math classes below Calc I) has further strengthened the approach, and has made thecore engineering curriculum accessible to incoming students across the entire range of ACTmath scores. As part of an NSF CCLI Phase 3 initiative, various aspects of the approach are nowbeing piloted by 18 institutions across the country (primarily university, but also at thecommunity college and K-12 levels). These institutions represent strategic pockets of interest insome of our nation's most STEM critical regions, including Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma,California, Maryland and Virginia. The dissemination component of the project has resulted inthe addition of numerous unfunded collaborators, and the approach is now under considerationby dozens of institutions across the country.Prior work by the authors has included a longitudinal study of program impacts at Wright StateUniversity, including student performance in calculus, student performance in core engineeringcourses, and ultimate graduation rates, as well the corresponding impact on student motivationand self-efficacy. However, the cohort considered in that work included only the first threeincoming classes of 2004-2006, prior to the introduction of EGR 199. The current paper willextend the longitudinal analysis to underprepared students initially enrolled in EGR 199,including the incoming classes of 2007-2009. The result could have substantial implications onboth the recruitment and retention of engineering students at institutions across the country.

Klingbeil, N. W., & Bourne, A. (2015, June), The Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: Longitudinal Impact on Initially Underprepared Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24917

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