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Work In Progress: Designing for First-Year Student Success: Understanding the Effects of Co-Curricular Programming on Feelings of Belonging

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Monday 5-Minute Work-in-Progress Postcard Session

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First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Emily A. Bovee Michigan State University Orcid 16x16

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Emily A. Bovee is a graduate student in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University. Her current research is focused on how peers influence college students' academic motivation and their proclivity to persist in STEM majors over time.

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Daina Briedis Michigan State University

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DAINA BRIEDIS is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University and Assistant Dean for Student Advancement and Program Assessment in the College of Engineering. Dr. Briedis is involved in several areas of education research including student retention, curriculum redesign, and the use of technology in the classroom. She has been involved in NSF-funded research in the areas of integration of computation in engineering curricula and in developing comprehensive strategies to retain early engineering students. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering accreditation and is a Fellow of ABET, ASEE, and AIChE.

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S. Patrick Walton Michigan State University

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S. Patrick Walton received his B.ChE. from Georgia Tech, where he began his biomedical research career in the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. He then attended MIT where he earned his M.S. and Sc.D. while working jointly with researchers at the Shriners Burns Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MIT, he was awarded a Shell Foundation Fellowship and was an NIH biotechnology Predoctoral Trainee. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the Stanford University Genome Technology Center, receiving an NIH Kirschstein post-doctoral fellowship. He joined Michigan State University in 2004 and his research is focused on the development of parallel analytical methods and the engineering of active nucleic acids (e.g., siRNAs) through mechanism-based design. He has been recognized for his accomplishments in both teaching and research, receiving the MSU Teacher-Scholar award, the College of Engineering Withrow Teaching Excellence Award, and being named an MSU Lilly Teaching Fellow.

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Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia Michigan State University

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Dr. Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia is an associate professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on the development of achievement motivation in educational settings and the interplay among motivation, emotions, and learning, especially in STEM fields.

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This Work-in-Progress paper will discuss our efforts to understand students' motivation and behaviors in relation to persistence as engineering students.

Retention is an issue across disciplines, but it is particularly salient in engineering majors as it affects the strength of the future engineering workforce. This paper will describe our investigation of the reasons that might underlie issues in retention, particularly for people who are underrepresented in the discipline (e.g. women and historically underrepresented racial groups).

In the current study, we administered an online survey to current and former engineering students--”persisters” and “leavers.” Our survey had two versions: one which was administered in the fall semester to the incoming freshman class, and another which was administered in the spring semester to students at all levels. The spring survey incorporated additional program assessment elements, so that we may better inform college of engineering and university decisions on programmatic elements. Importantly, the spring survey was administered to both “leaver” (current XXX student who were once but are not currently in an engineering major) and “persister” students (current engineering majors).

Our dataset is unique because it includes a number of motivational and behavioral indicators. We have assessed motivational dimensions such as goals, perceived costs of studying engineering, and mindsets. Students have also provided information about their use of the campus community resources, such as tutoring and peer mentoring, and have reported on their career plans and their expectations for their future education. Self-report data are supplemented by registrar data, so we are able to link student survey responses with their academic performance and demographics. Our research team is interested in a number of questions related to: (1) describing the motivation and career intentions of current and former engineering students (2) understanding the ways in which the programmatic elements in place support or undermine that motivation, and (3) providing recommendations to guide the development and implementation of future supports for retention in engineering. The final paper and presentation will detail our findings on what factors influence motivation and persistence, with particular focus on the differences seen in our persister and leaver populations.

Bovee, E. A., & Briedis, D., & Walton, S. P., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2017, June), Work In Progress: Designing for First-Year Student Success: Understanding the Effects of Co-Curricular Programming on Feelings of Belonging Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29150

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