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Work in Progress - The GPA Trajectories of Engineering Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 21: Student Grades and Feedback

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Hassan Ali Al Yagoub Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Hassan Al Yagoub is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include diversity & inclusion, students’ persistence, advising and mentoring, engineering career pathways, and school-to-work transition of new engineers.
He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Hassan worked for five years at General Electric where he graduated from their Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) and then worked as a gas turbine fleet management engineer. In addition to his technical role, Hassan supported the recruiting, interview, and selection process of the EEDP Program, where he mentored interns, co-ops and Edison associates from the Middle East and Africa regions by developing and teaching a technical training curriculum, providing guidance for graduate school applications, and providing career consultation.

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Hossein EbrahimNejad Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Hossein Ebrahiminejad is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. He completed his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in Iran. His research interests include student pathways, educational policy, and quantitative research methods.

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011 and 2015. Dr. Ohland is an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE, IEEE, and AAAS.

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A large number of studies use grades and GPA as a proxy for academic success, but there is less research documenting the effect of how students’ grades fluctuate with time and the role this plays in persistence. This study particularly focuses on engineering students who graduated and the relationships between their third semester GPA and their cumulative graduating GPA. We apply Ordinary Least Squares and Ordinal Logistic regressions to a longitudinal data to identify the characteristics of that population. This population is a subset of the MIDFIELD database, and included 52,946 engineering students from 14 U.S. universities. Based on the analysis of the study it was found that for engineering students who graduated, there was minimal difference in graduating GPA between those who took additional semesters or switch majors. There was little evidence that students “learn to be students,” but rather student GPAs seemed to simply regress toward the mean GPA of 3.0.

Al Yagoub, H. A., & EbrahimNejad, H., & Ohland, M. W. (2019, June), Work in Progress - The GPA Trajectories of Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33570

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