University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee
July 30, 2023
July 30, 2023
August 1, 2023
A small private school in the Midwest began an engineering peer mentoring program to foster community and support networks among first-year students in order to improve retention and student success. Engineering can be isolating in college, especially so in newer and smaller programs. Feelings of isolation are known to be detrimental to student success and mental health. To combat this impact on students, upperclassmen were paired with all first-year students based on common interests in order to meet outside of the classroom in social environments. Impact of this program was studied through academic vectors such as grade point average (GPA), major and university retention rates, and social vectors such as community engagement and qualitative surveys. These results are also compared with first year student attendance and participation in the peer mentoring events. This program ran in the 2022-2023 academic year, and impact was monitored each semester. Initial results are promising, as first-year student retention improved by over 10%, however, more analysis is needed to investigate all factors that may have contributed to this rise. Future work will continue to monitor these factors and look at ways to improve the program.
Herzog, J. B., & Matutes, J., & Hacker, S., & Spicklemire, S. J., & Reid, K. (2023, July), WIP: Impact of Peer Mentor Program on First Year Engineering Students Success Paper presented at 14th Annual First-Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--44856
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