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ERIC Number: EJ1058132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-2153-2516
An Integrated Approach to Recruiting and Retaining Appalachian Engineering Students
Winn, Gary; Hensel, Robin; Curtis, Reagan; Taylor, Lydotta M.; Cilento, Gene
American Journal of Engineering Education, v2 n2 p1-16 2012
Recruiting and retaining Appalachian engineering students is difficult for a variety of ecological and cultural reasons. At West Virginia University an NSF STEP grant has allowed the development of specific interventions to evolve from an ecological model we describe here. The interventions include web-based, realistic engineering design exercises linked to state and federal content standards and objectives; a week-long residential summer camp addressing social and academic challenges for rural and minority students; a full set of retention efforts including "rescue courses" targeting struggling college freshmen in early stages of academic difficulty coupled with required study labs to underscore time management and persistence skills early in a freshman's academic career. Process and impact measures suggest that this package of interventions is effective in building interest in engineering not only in high school teachers but in the high school students themselves. While freshman retention has improved remarkably to an all time high of 84%, we conclude that it may take longer than five years to establish among youth in Appalachia an "engineering identity" as a cultural norm. We discuss the key aspects of our 5 year NSF project along with findings and conclusions.
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0525484