July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Abstract: The impact of a layered mentorship Program (LMP) on the retention of first-year engineering students is studied. The College of Engineering at an urban research university is acutely aware of the increased need for retention programs in engineering colleges across the US. To respond to this need, a unique mentorship program, LMP, is established as one of the main components of an Engineering Learning Community (ELC) for first-year engineering students. Students self-select into the ELC program and, upon being registered, are assigned a peer mentor. The peer mentors are sophomore through senior-level undergraduate engineering students in the college who hold loosely structured meetings with the mentee students. The peer mentors are in turn supported by multiple “layers”, including senior mentors, graduate students, and faculty. We are studying this peer mentorship component of the ELC program as a critical and catalyzing peer relationship that promotes STEM identity. The focus on relationship and identity building hinges on connectivity, which is emerging as a particularly critical challenge in the remote learning context resulting from the global pandemic. This makes the research particularly relevant to a contemporary, global problem. Our preliminary data suggests that mentoring discussions are generally focused on achieving high academic performance through time management and collaboration with learning community peers. We are endeavoring to understand if and how these themes can be leveraged to promote STEM Identity, academic success, and ultimately student retention when compared to non-participating students. Our research involves triangulating interview (n= 3?), survey (n = 17?), and retention data to provide evidence that the mentoring program supplies extra support for the students being mentored. The discussion will include how the pandemic has impacted our mentoring program, as they transitioned from in-person to online mentoring.
Simon, G. E., & Darbeheshti, M., & Howland Cummings, M., & Schupbach, W. T., & Altman, T., & Jacobson, M. S., & Goodman, K. (2021, July), WIP: A Layered Mentorship Program (LMP) for Engineering Student Success and Retention Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38066
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