The Engineering Fast-Forward Program at _______ University (supported by the DUE of NSF) is a summer S-STEM Scholarship Program that serves as a sophomore bridge for engineering majors. Specifically, it is designed to provide rising sophomore engineering majors with a smoother transition into the more difficult mathematics and engineering coursework they encounter after their first year in engineering. The scholarship program takes places over a 12-week summer term in which participants enroll in the first multivariable calculus course, statics, and a professional development course.
The multivariable calculus and statics courses are taught in a manner typical to how the classes would be taught for a non-S-STEM cohort of students, with the only difference being the class size. The S-STEM cohort classes included 18 students in Year 1 and 17 students in Year 2, while typical mathematics and statics sections of these courses have enrollments of 45-48 students per section. Year 1 saw higher than typical success rates in both the calculus and statics S-STEM sections, while the Year 2 cohort calculus and statics course performance more closely mirrored the performance seen in typical sections of these courses.
The professional development course has been designed as an exclusive offering to the S-STEM students. The course went through significant redesign between Years 1 and 2 in response to feedback from the Year 1 student cohort. The Year 2 professional development course included four components: 1) the entire curriculum from “Developing Spatial Thinking” by S. A. Sorby, 2) speakers from and industry trips to area companies utilizing engineering methods in the workplace, 3) faculty mentorship through faculty participation in the industry visits, 4) personal development including strengths assessment, self-reflection, team-building, communication, resume-writing, and interview skills, and 5) course assignments to strengthen, integrate, and apply each of the aforementioned components, including assignments to give students opportunities to hone their professional interactions with industry.
This implementation poster will focus on overall student success in their courses and the changes in the professional development course from Years 1 to 2.
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