Patterns of students' success: How engineering students progress through a course sequence Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • © American Society for Engineering Education, 2015. Increasing the number and diversity of graduates with undergraduate degrees in engineering continues to be highlighted in national reports. Improving the number of engineering graduates is not only a matter of recruitment but also a critical matter of retention. Currently, less than half of the students entering engineering persist and ultimately attain an engineering degree. Retention studies, in general, have evaluated cohorts related to specific lengths of time, such as first or second year retention. The studies have provided less information on patterns of student performance in courses in the engineering curricula and instead many times focus on success in a first course. The authors in this study examine how patterns of progression through course sequences might be used to improve retention in engineering. This approach visualizes how engineering students are progressing through course sequences. Engineering curricula are complex with multiple required courses, many of which have one or more prerequisites. Success in each course sequence in a student's program study of engineering is a prerequisite for student success in engineering; that is, if they do not succeed in the course sequence, they do not succeed in their program of study. Studies of student progress through various course sequences can provide different perspectives and findings on student success in engineering. This paper reports on how student success in course sequences can be visualized and what information can be gained in this process.

author list (cited authors)

  • Froyd, J. E., Shryock, K. J., Tripathy, M. M., Srinivasa, A. R., & Simon, R. C.

publication date

  • January 2015