Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Student retention across engineering programs often hinges upon students' ability to adapt to a new academic paradigm, for example, learning new study techniques, new academic habits, and of course new concepts. These techniques develop from various sources, including self-taught trial and error, advice from friends, and directives from faculty. Unfortunately, if students do not eventually find successful tactics, they struggle and are dissatisfied with their experience or leave without having completed the program. While faculty members, tutors, mentors, advisors, and more are a valid source of advice, students are more likely to make progress among peers.
Meanwhile, recent graduates and current junior/senior students often have a wealth of information regarding successful (and unsuccessful) study habits and other academic skills gained through experience. These are often passed down orally through classes and peer groups, while published strategies tend to be from faculty or administrative perspectives. The work presented here codifies the successful and unsuccessful strategies that students across numerous technical disciplines and from different backgrounds have used through their academic careers. The advice given is from a range of students at Wentworth Institute of Technology with a number of engineering and technical programs, gathered and analyzed by a team consisting of students, faculty, and administrators. The work serves as a guidebook for students, by students, in a range of rigorous programs.
A survey was distributed to recent graduates and upper-level students from various engineering and science backgrounds, intended to capture the realities of student habits, not just intention or knowledge of the ``right answer.'' The surveys were then analyzed and correlated to determine what strategies students agreed were successful, whether they determined the strategies' merits prior to graduation or only in retrospect. The goal is that universities and engineering programs can share these strategies with their incoming or retained students or develop similar survey studies based on their own student body, helping students succeed in their respective programs and increase retention regardless of student background. Finally, a study guide is presented, growing from the survey results and molded by undergraduate students and the investigative team.
Kucharski, B., & Carpenter, A., & Giblin, J., & Ergezer, M. (2018, June), Work in Progress - the Undergraduate Perspective: How to Survive an Undergraduate Engineering Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31261
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