In 2004, Wright State University developed an innovative mathematics course for first-year engineering undergraduates in order to increase student retention, motivation and academic success. To date, the Wright State model has had a positive impact on student retention, motivation and academic success by increasing graduation rates and GPAs among participants. During the fall of 2014 and 2015, one large public university in the Midwest with more selective admission criteria decided to pilot a course based on the Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education. Using the Wright State model, a mathematics for engineering course was offered to prospective students so they could subsequently begin engineering classes without a traditional calculus prerequisite. Each semester, a cohort of 31 first-year engineering students enrolled in the course. Instructors distributed surveys to students at the beginning and end of each term. In addition, university administrators tracked student grades in subsequent math and engineering courses. This paper will outline the details of the course as well as the academic performance and retention of these students. Preliminary findings suggest first to second year retention is higher with students who have taken the mathematics for engineering course. First-year students who take the course also earn higher grades in algebra, trigonometry, and introductory engineering courses, but not in Calculus I.
8th Annual First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference
Scholarly Commons Citation
Long, L. L., III, Abrams, L. M., Barclay, L. & Paulson, J. (2016). Emulating the Wright State Model for Engineering Mathematics Education: Improving first-year engineering student retention. Proceedings from 8th Annual First-Year Engineering Experience Conference (FYEE). Columbus, OH. Retrieved from http://fyee.org/fyee2015/papers/148.pdf