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Transfer Student Pathways to Engineering Degrees: Progress and Preliminary Findings from a Multi-institutional Study Based in Texas

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/p.27074

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27074

Download Count

124

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Paper Authors

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Andrea M. Ogilvie P.E. Virginia Tech

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Andrea M. Ogilvie, P.E. is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Currently, she is investigating "Transfer Student Pathways to Engineering Degrees" through a multi-institutional study based in Texas and funded by NSF (EEC-1428502). Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Andrea served as the Director of the Equal Opportunity in Engineering (EOE) Program at The University of Texas at Austin for 11 years. During her term, she raised more than $3.7 million in private and public grants to support the EOE program and its mission. Andrea has earned multiple degrees in Engineering and Public Affairs from UT Austin (BSCE, MPAff) and Virginia Tech (MS ISE). In 2016, she will graduate from VT with a Doctorate in Engineering Education. Andrea is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.

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David B Knight Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David Knight is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and Human-Centered Design Program. His research focuses on student learning outcomes in undergraduate engineering, learning analytics approaches to improve educational practices and policies, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, organizational change in colleges and universities, and international issues in higher education.

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Maura J. Borrego University of Texas, Austin

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Maura Borrego is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and an associate dean and director of interdisciplinary graduate programs. Her research awards include U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and two outstanding publication awards from the American Educational Research Association for her journal articles. Dr. Borrego is Deputy Editor for Journal of Engineering Education and serves on the board of the American Society for Engineering Education as Chair of Professional Interest Council IV. All of Dr. Borrego’s degrees are in Materials Science and Engineering. Her M.S. and Ph.D. are from Stanford University, and her B.S. is from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Arturo A Fuentes University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Arturo Alejandro Fuentes is a Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University. Among his research interests are nano-reinforced composites, dynamic response analysis, non-destructive evaluation, and engineering education. Among his teaching responsibilities are Finite Element Method, Mechanical Vibrations, and Engineering Mechanics at the undergraduate level, and Structural Dynamics, Advanced Mechanics of Materials, and Finite Element Analysis at the graduate level.

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Patricia A. Nava University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Patricia A. Nava is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). In her role at the college, she focuses on many facets of undergraduate student success. She holds a B.S.E.E., an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and has experience working in government, industry, and academic sectors. Dr. Nava has held academic positions at universities in four different states, and has garnered over 14 awards for her accomplishments in teaching, including the UT Chancellor’s Council Award, and the UT Regents’ Award.

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Valarie E. Taylor Texas A&M University

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Valerie Taylor is the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Dwight Look College of Engineering and a Regents Professor and the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 2003, she joined Texas A&M University as the Department Head of CSE, where she remained in that position until 2011. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Taylor was a member of the faculty in the EECS Department at Northwestern University for eleven years. She is also the Executive Director of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT). Dr. Taylor is an IEEE Fellow.

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Abstract

In 2015 President Obama introduced America’s College Promise, a new $80 billion proposal to make two years of community college free for individuals willing to earn the benefit. To maximize results from such a substantial investment, it is important to address and resolve existing challenges related to degree completion and upward transfer for community college students, especially within engineering. In this paper, we provide an overview of preliminary data from our current National Science Foundation study focused on transfer students in Texas that is aiming to better understand the transfer process in engineering so that the transfer student pathway to an engineering bachelor's degree may become better enhanced.

Following a mixed methods research approach and using a conceptual framework of transfer student capital to organize the study, we use qualitative data from semi-structured focus groups with students, administrators, faculty, and staff to extend quantitative findings from an engineering transfer student survey that was administered to more than 7,800 engineering transfers students at four 4-year institutions in Texas. This study uniquely combines engineering transfer student survey responses with education outcome data (i.e., student records) to increase understanding of the complete transfer pathway experience. The sample is unique because it is comprised of a disproportionately large percentage of Hispanic students, which is the fastest growing demographic in the country and a subpopulation that engineering is seeking to attract and support.

We envision that our research findings on what helps and hinders the transfer process can be used to 1) make improvements and revisions to existing policy, and 2) serve as a guide for states and institutions seeking to adopt new policies that promote upward transfer in engineering.

Ogilvie, A. M., & Knight, D. B., & Borrego, M. J., & Fuentes, A. A., & Nava, P. A., & Taylor, V. E. (2016, June), Transfer Student Pathways to Engineering Degrees: Progress and Preliminary Findings from a Multi-institutional Study Based in Texas Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27074

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