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Utilization of an Engineering Peer Tutoring Center for Undergraduate Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Student Success I: Interventions and Programs

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Ben Pelleg Drexel University

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Dr. Ben Pelleg is an Assistant Teaching professor for the engineering core curriculum department at Drexel University. He earned a B.S. degree in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University in 2014.

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Kristin Imhoff Drexel University

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Kristin Imhoff graduated from Drexel University with her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering in 2009. She began her career at Drexel in 2009 as an academic advisor for the Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics department, serving as a professional academic advisor to over 550 students. In January 2012, she became the Program Manager for Assessment & Retention for the College of Engineering, coordinating accreditation efforts for 12 ABET-accredited undergraduate programs and an ACCE accredited program. She created the Academic Center for Engineers (ACE) in the Spring of 2013 to provide tutoring support for engineering courses. She was promoted to Associate Director for Assessment & Retention Projects in July 2015. Kristin has completed Drexel’s Supervisory Certificate Program and ABET’s IDEAL Scholar program and is currently working toward completion of an M.S. in Human Resource Development and a second Bachelor's in Anthropology. She is a member of ASEE and SHRM.

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Kevin Ayers Drexel University

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Kevin Ayers is the Database Manager for the College of Engineering at Drexel University, handling all data analysis and data reporting needs across the College. In addition to reporting on the state of the College to all external entities (e.g. ASEE & US News), he has created dozens of information management systems that allow the College to track resource utilization, physical inventory, and student engagement, persistence, and quality. His previous position as Director of Operations and Logistics for the College of Engineering allows him to bring a unique perspective and insight into how to best display and use the data that both the College of Engineering and Drexel University collect.

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Philipp A. Boettcher

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This research paper reports on the development of an engineering-based peer tutoring center and the impact of the center on undergraduate engineering students. In three years, the tutoring center has grown from employing 4 peer tutors and providing tutoring for 3 courses, to employing more than twenty tutors providing tutoring for more than twenty courses. Tutors services are offered to students on a walk-in basis for courses with at least 60 students enrolled and by appointment for smaller courses or courses that generate less tutoring interest. Tutors are trained in the use of evidence-based tutoring techniques, such as the Socratic method.

In order to quantify the usage and impact of the tutoring center, data was collected through two methods. First, student visit data was recorded using a digital card swipe system that then populates a database with the visit specifics as well as connecting with the College of Engineering’s main database containing student demographics and academic performance. Second, data was gathered using surveys administered to students receiving tutoring, as well as surveys administered to the peer tutors.

The data collected was analyzed to determine how the center was being utilized and how students’ academic performances are affected by tutoring. For example, the population of students utilizing tutoring services was compared with the general College of Engineering student population. Additionally, student and tutor survey results showed that both students and tutors believed that the students’ understanding of course material was stronger after a tutoring session. Initial analyses show that students who attend tutoring perform slightly better than students who do not attend tutoring in a specific course, but future work will focus on fully understanding the effect of tutoring on a student’s grade point average and retention. Results are compared to previously published literature concerning usage and impact of other engineering peer tutoring centers.

Pelleg, B., & Imhoff, K., & Ayers, K., & Boettcher, P. A. (2016, June), Utilization of an Engineering Peer Tutoring Center for Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27174

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015