This paper is being submitted as Complete Research. X is a summer program designed to provide Y incoming undergraduate engineering students with extra support through providing a bridge experience to refresh their math, science, and writing skills as well as assimilate them to campus facilities. Students are expected to attend all the disciplines regardless of their background and intended area of study. Beginning in the summer of 2013, the chemistry portion has focused on student preparation for Chemistry I, which is required for almost all the undergraduate engineering programs at Y. However, due to the diverse student backgrounds and lack of motivation, as noticed through the years by faculty teaching X, the chemistry enrichment experience was not always optimal. To enhance the student learning experience and motivate students to be successful, faculty began incorporating Chemistry in Engineering lectures along with the Chemistry Preparation lectures and ALEKS® system in the summer of 2017. Chemistry in Engineering lectures contained two parts: Understanding Chemistry Through Cars and Molecules That Amaze Us. The intention was to show students the importance of chemistry in relation to their fields of study and daily life. Students who completed the corresponding ALEKS® assignment prior to the lecture were permitted to opt-out of attending the Chemistry Preparation lectures. Assessments were conducted before and after the program – namely, pre-course and exit exams, motivation surveys, and a program exit survey. Students showed a significant improvement after completing the summer program (pre-course exam score: 15.9 ± 5.3 (2019), 13.4 ± 6.0 (2018), and 17.6 ± 4.7 (2017) and exit exam score: 20.2 ± 4.0 (2019), 20.3 ± 3.6 (2018) and 22.0 ± 2.2 (2017); p < 0.01 for all three years). When it comes to the program exit survey, 69 % (2019), 64 % (2018) and 62 % (2017) of the students indicated that they gained a good sense of what to expect during their Chemistry I class during the academic year compared with 40 % of those in summer 2016. Regarding the pre-course and exit motivation surveys, there is a significant difference (p < 0.1) in response to the question: Whether the chemistry content is difficult or easy, I am sure that I can understand. Moreover, the motivation survey also shows the differences among majors (e.g., chemistry intensive v.s. non-chemistry intensive). To summarize, the program itself helps ready the students academically, while Chemistry in Engineering lectures and ALEKS® help enhance their learning experience and understanding of how chemistry fits into their lives and academic pursuits. Additional assessments will be conducted in the future to validate and expand upon the findings.
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