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Time to Completion of an Engineering Baccalaureate at Texas A&M University

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Persistence and Retention II: Curricular Issues

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

22.1526.1 - 22.1526.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18482

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

biography

Margaret Hobson Texas A&M University

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Margaret Hobson, Ph.D. serves as an Assistant Director of Strategic Research Development for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, a state-wide research agency of the Texas A&M University System. Dr. Hobson has a B.S. from Texas Woman’s University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Psychology (Dissertation: Teacher Perceptions of Change in Leadership Roles and Activities as a Result of Participation in a Science Education Leadership Program). Her dissertation study was supported by the National Science Foundation project Center for Applications of Information Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Science (ITS Center). Dr. Hobson also has extensive experience in evaluation. Prior to joining TEES, Dr. Hobson taught mathematics and special education in three Texas public school districts between 1976 and 2000.

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biography

Jorja Kimball Texas A&M University

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Jorja Kimball, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Strategic Research Development for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, a state-wide research agency of the Texas A&M University System. In this capacity, she works with institutions of higher education across the state of Texas to develop education and technical research proposals that bring federal research dollars to Texas. Her office has garnered over $70 million in federal funding since 2003 for educational research, in addition to working with faculty who received individual technical awards, such as the NSF CAREER. Dr. Kimball has a B.B.A. and M.B.A. from Texas A&I University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration (Dissertation: A Study of Engineering Student Attributes and Time to Completion of First-Year Required Course at Texas A&M University). She was with the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, a Hispanic Serving Institution, for eight years before her employment with TEES. While there she was a Principal Investigator and held a number of leadership positions on projects related to engineering education, such as the $30 million NSF Foundation Coalition for Engineering Education. She also has extensive experience with undergraduate and graduate education programs, particularly related to women and underrepresented minorities.

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Abstract

Time to completion of an Engineering Baccalaureate at Texas A&M UniversityIn depth studies on the retention and graduation of entire populations or cohorts of engineeringstudents are commonly done by colleges, and often comparisons are made by ethnicity andgender. However, studies on the time to completion of the first year of so-called “barrier”coursework are less common, as is the time to completion of an engineering degree. This wasrecently conducted on the 1998 and 1999 cohorts of engineering students enrolling in the DwightLook College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Statistical analysis was conducted ontime to completion of what the College terms Core Body of Knowledge (CBK), or the first yearchemistry, mathematics and physics coursework for entering first time engineering students, andsubsequent graduation of students completing the CBK. The presentation and paper will present findings from two linked studies will be presentedfor engineering students who initially declared one of five engineering majors (Civil, Electrical,Chemical, Mechanical, and Computer) that most colleges of engineering across the nation offer.A cohort graduation study was conducted on 1186 first-time entering students in the Fall 1998and Fall 1999 cohorts who completed the College of Engineering’s “core body of knowledge”,or CBK – a series of initial coursework for engineering majors. Findings included that of the 1186 students in the 1998 and 1999 cohorts who completedCBK and progressed to upper division, 1063 (89.6%) had earned a degree in engineering bySpring 2009. Of these 1186 students, 878 (82.6%) were male and 185 (17.4%) were female,almost exactly the male/female ratio of the original cohorts: 82.4% male and 17.6% female. Thisdiscovery contrasts with the national retention rate of 60% for engineering and 42% for computerscience and indicates that once Texas A&M engineering students complete CBK, their chancesof graduation with a degree in engineering are very high. On the average, it took both men andwomen more than 4 ½ years to graduate, and women graduated slightly faster than men, whichwas statically significant at the p <.01). The paper will present findings includingthe correlation of completion of CBK to semesters to graduation, analysis by gender andethnicity, and difference in grade points by gender. Though studies of this nature may beconsidered common, few have taken such a large cohort and followed it through graduation andrelating these findings to time to completion of CBK, which research indicates are the barriercourses to completion of an engineering degree. Also considered in this study are financial needstatus and whether students transferred to other majors related to time to completion of CBK andtime to graduation.

Hobson, M., & Kimball, J. (2011, June), Time to Completion of an Engineering Baccalaureate at Texas A&M University Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18482

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