The XXX program employs known best practices to support engineering students with the goal of retaining them through graduation and diversifying the engineering workforce. The XXXX program started in 2012 and has been supported via NSF S-STEM award number XXXX since 2016. Cohorts from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 consist of 12, 20, 22, and 17 students, respectively. Twenty-one renewable S-STEM supported scholarships have been award to students since 2016.
XXXX students participate in a one-week pre-fall bridge experience, a common fall professional development course, and a course emphasizing the role of engineers in societal development in the spring semester. Starting in the bridge experience and continuing until graduation, students participate in curricular and co-curricular activities with the goals of: (1) fostering feelings of belonging in engineering and institutional inclusion, (2) encouraging professional development, and (3) supporting academic achievement and student success. These goals are achieved by providing: (1) opportunities for interaction between students and peers, faculty, and industry mentors; (2) major and career exploration opportunities; and (3) academic support and student success education in areas such as time management and study skills.
XXX students participate in the GRIT, LAESE, and MSLQ surveys, as well as in focus groups and one-on-one interviews at the start and end of each fall semester and at the end of the spring semester. The surveys provide a quantitative measure of students’ GRIT, general self-efficacy, engineering self-efficacy, test anxiety, math outcome efficacy, intrinsic value of learning, inclusion, career expectations, and coping efficacy. Qualitative data from the focus group and individual interview responses are used to provide additional insight into the quantitative survey results.
A previous analysis of the 2017 XXXX cohort survey responses produced an unexpected result. When the responses of XXXX students who retained in engineering were compared to the responses of XXXX students who did not remain engineering, it was discovered that those students who left engineering had higher baseline values of GRIT, career expectations, engineering self-efficacy, and math outcome efficacy than those students who retained. An analysis of the 2018 cohort survey responses and the correlation to their retention is being explored in an effort to determine if this unexpected result is true of that cohort as well. Qualitative results will also be presented to provide an holistic understanding of student retention. Results from both the 2017 and 2018 cohorts will be presented and discussed in the paper and poster.
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