Engineering Core Curriculum Redesign for Increasing Preparedness and Retention
We aspire to incorporate the ideas from the newly developed course, known as EGR 101 “Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications” at Wright State University by Professor Klingbeil. The WSU model concludes with the development of a revised engineering math sequence, to be taught by the math department later in the curriculum, in concert with College of Engineering and ABET requirements. The result has shifted the traditional emphasis on math prerequisite requirements to an emphasis on engineering motivation for math, with a “just-in-time” structuring of the new math sequence.
At UTSA, the changes in the engineering courses will not be as drastic as WSU. Students at UTSA still have to follow the traditional math sequences (Calculus I, Calculus II, etc.). However, the prerequisites for some of the core engineering courses will change from Calculus I to the newly developed Math classes.
We plan to establish the laboratory and develop the course materials and change the curriculum during the academic year 2008-2009. We plan to offer the course to a group of about 100 engineering freshmen in Fall 2009 on a voluntary basis. Although a majority of these students pass pre-calculus while in high school, typically about 75% of them will fail the placement test and will not be ready to register in the Calculus I course.
The three dependent variables that measure quality (GPA), system reliability (Retention—RET), and time (Progress Toward Degree—PTD) will be used for the assessment purposes for two groups of students: Pilot and Traditional groups.
Retention is defined as the ratio of those cohorts in engineering versus the total number that began. PTD is especially important given the impetus placed on 6 year graduation rates by the State. Loosely defined, it is quantified as the ratio of number of degree catalog hours earned to the targeted number of degree hours at any point in time.
The pilot program should be in place for the duration of the grant; thereafter, based on the assessment (as predicated by UTSA COE ABET processes), a full implementation can be undertaken; that is, all entering students will go through the new process.
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- NSF-Wright State University Contract