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WIP: Impact of Peer Mentor Program on First Year Engineering Students Success

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Conference

14th Annual First-Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference

Location

University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee

Publication Date

July 30, 2023

Start Date

July 30, 2023

End Date

August 1, 2023

Page Count

5

DOI

10.18260/1-2--44856

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/44856

Download Count

58

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Paper Authors

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Joseph B Herzog University of Indianapolis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2441-6169

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Joseph B. Herzog is an Assistant professor in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis. He chose to come to the University of Indianapolis because he is passionate about teaching, is excited about the direction of the new R.B. Annis School of Engineering, is glad to return to his engineering roots, and is happy to be close to his extended family. Previously he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Arkansas. He is truly grateful for his time at the University of Arkansas, and enjoyed his department, students, and the campus. While in Fayetteville, he also served as a faculty in the Microelectronics-Photonics Program and the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering. He received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame working in the Nano-Optics Research Lab with J. Merz and A. Mintairov. After this he was a Welch Postdoctoral Research Associate, researching plasmonic nanostructures at Rice University with Douglas Natelson in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. In the summer of 2017 he was a Fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC working with Jake Fontana on tunable subnanometer gap plasmonic metasurfaces as part of the Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Research Program. At the NRL he worked in the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, which is a division of the Materials Directorate at the NRL. His experience also includes working for Intel Corporation both in Hillsboro, OR and Santa Clara, CA; and he worked at the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung m.b.H. (BESSY - Berlin electron storage ring company for synchrotron radiation) in Berlin, Germany, researching ultra thick high-aspect-ratio microfabrication. His research focuses on experimental nano-optics, including plasmonics, nanofabrication, computational modeling, photonic crystals, and engineering education.

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Joan Matutes University of Indianapolis

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Joan Matutes is currently an undergraduate mechanical engineering major at the University of Indianapolis. Joan enjoys research, and intends to continue research in graduate school and beyhond.

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Shelby Hacker

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Stephen J Spicklemire University of Indianapolis

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Has been teaching physics at UIndy for more than 35 years. From the implementation of "flipped" physics class to the modernization of scientific computing and laboratory instrumentation courses, Steve has brought the strengths of his background in physics, engineering and computer science into the classroom. Steve also does IT and engineering consulting.

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Kenneth Reid University of Indianapolis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2337-7495

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Kenneth Reid is the Associate Dean and Director of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis and an affiliate Associate Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is active in engineering within K-12, serving on the TSA Board of Directors for over 10 years. He has recently co-authored Introduction to Engineering among other texts.

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Abstract

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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