Activities that Help Students Maintain and Develop Interest in Engineering During the First Year of College: A Collaborative Sharing and Brainstorming Activity
Nora Honken, PhD, University of Cincinnati, email@example.com, 513-558-7560
First year engineering instructors and advisors.
Interest has been established as a primary reason students choose engineering as a field of study (Honken & Ralston, 2013; Anderson-Rowland, 1997; Microsoft, 2011). Lack of interest has also been stated as a reason for leaving engineering (Seymour & Hewitt, 1997 : Shuman et al., 1999). Millions of dollars have been spent trying to increase interest in engineering at the K-12 level for all students and in particular students from groups who are underrepresented in engineering. For example the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers grant (National Science Foundation, 2013) specifically supports efforts and research focused on increasing the number of women in engineering and science.
This proposed workshop is focused on helping students maintain interest in engineering during their first year of college when many engineering students are taking courses such as calculus and chemistry versus courses more closely related to their discipline of study. The purpose of the workshop is for educators to share ideas on how they currently, and could, help students maintain and develop interest in engineering during the first year. The goal of the workshop is for all in attendance to leave the workshop with a renewed commitment to helping students maintain interest in engineering and some practical ideas to implement in their classrooms.
10 min: Establish the importance of maintaining interest in engineering by presenting research findings related to interest and college and career choice
25 min: Break out groups of educators discussing the following two questions
• What are you currently doing to help students maintain and increase interest in engineering?
• What could you be doing to help students maintain and increase interest in engineering?
10 min: Each group shares the results of their group’s discussion
5 min: The top three ideas are voted on.
Anderson-Rowland, M. R. (1997). Understanding freshman engineering student retention through a survey. Paper presented at the ASS Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI.
Honken, N. B., & Ralston, P. (2013). High-achieving high school students and not so high achieving college students: A look at lack of self-control, academic ability and performance in college. Journal of Advanced Academics, 24(2), 108-124.
Microsoft. (2011). Microsoft releases national survey findings on how to inspire the next generation of doctors, scientists, software developers and engineering. Retrieved on October 7, 2013 from htp://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2011/sep11/09-07MSSTEMSurveyPR.mspx
National Science Foundation. (2013). Women, minorities and persons with disabilities in science and engineering (table 2-9 Undergraduate enrollment in engineering programs by sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship and enrollment status: 1999-2009). In N. S. Foundation (Ed.). Arlington, VA.
Seymour, E., & Hewitt, N. M. (1997). Talking about leaving: Why undergraduates leave the sciences. U.S.A.: Westview Press.
Shuman, L. J., Delaney, H., Wolfe, A., Scalise, A., & Besterfeld-Sacre, M. (1999). Engineering attrition: Student characteristics and educational initiatives. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Charlotte, NC.
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