Concurrent Issues

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Four-year colleges and universities generally expect first-year students to enter engineering programs prepared to enroll in Calculus 1, at a minimum. However, many undergraduates in community colleges begin at the Intermediate Algebra or College Algebra level. This population of students is often a population that four-year engineering programs never engage, frequently because so few of them persist to Calculus 1 and never make it “on the radar” of engineering departments. Yet, this population is extremely diverse and can offer an array of perspectives not always represented in four-year institutions… However, if the math deters these collegians, they can be turned away from engineering.

In this breakout, session attendees will discuss and share promising practices to bring those diverse populations from developmental math up to calculus readiness.

To participate in this breakout session, attendees must view a 13-minute presentation STEM Core: Establishing Pathways for Developmental Students to STEM Degrees and Careers by David Gruber, Director, Growth Sectors.

Four-year universities do a great deal in cultivating the interest of students that they care highly about recruiting. We see this in elite Division I programs that are recruiting highly competitive high school athletes. We also see this in four-year academic programs that seek students with SAT scores that are upwards of 1500. However, higher education generally does not see the same type of outreach and recruitment to community college students. Similarly, the types of attractive scholarships directed toward these competitive high school students are not always available for potential transfer students, which is particularly concerning given the higher levels of financial need that these undergraduates often have. What should outreach, recruitment, and scholarships look like from the standpoint of four-year engineering programs to community colleges?

This breakout session will discuss promising student outreach and recruiting practices that four-year engineering programs have implemented or can employ to encourage more community college students to transfer to their institutions.

To participate in this breakout session, attendees must view a 12-minute presentation Outreach, Recruitment, and Scholarships from Four-Year Engineering Schools to Community Colleges by David Knight, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech.

Undergraduates may pay for community college courses that do not always transfer to four-year institutions. Even when they are transferable and adequately articulated, those articulation agreements between the community college and four-year institution can expire at some point.  This situation may result in undergraduates having to retake courses that can set them back as much as a year.

How can community colleges and four-year engineering programs work more collaboratively to create better articulation agreements, stronger communication around curriculum, and potentially shorter time to degrees for students who plan to transfer?

This breakout session will discuss promising practices that community colleges and four-year institutions have created or can implement in the future to support better cross-curricular efforts.


To participate in this breakout session, attendees must view a brief video presentation by Teri Reed, Ph.D., M.B.A. Assistant Vice President for Research Development University of Cincinnati and David De Sousa, PhD. Associate Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Academies, College of Engineering

The transfer process is undeniably critical to move students from community college to four-year institutions. However, transfer can seem very nebulous and confusing, almost like a black hole that leaves students to figure things out “on their own.” What is the responsibility of higher education institutions to create more transparent processes and be more proactive in offering support to undergraduates?

In this breakout session, we will discuss how to make the transfer process more transparent and less confusing for students.

To participate in this breakout session, attendees must view a 13-minute presentation, Transfer Pathways, and Processes: Navigating the Process “On My Own” by Dr. Xueli Wang, Barbara, and Glenn Thompson Professor in Educational Leadership, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

When students transition from a community college to a four-year institution, they enter completely new higher education environments. These include new and often larger campuses, different professors with teaching styles that they are frequently unprepared for, and student communities that have already been formed. In a discipline like engineering, which is already very difficult to manage, this different environment can create completely new stressors.

Moreover, given that many community college students are balancing financial and family requirements that require them to live and work off-campus, they are challenged to navigate a new environment that has been designed for traditional students who live on or near campus. How can four-year engineering programs become more receptive to transfer students and value their lived experiences, rather than making them feel “othered” or isolated?

This breakout session will discuss promising practices that four-year engineering programs can implement or are already implementing to create a culture and climate to promote greater receptivity for transfer students and minimize the challenges of student adjustment.

To participate in this breakout session, attendees must view a 14-minute presentation on Transfer Student Adjustment in Four-Year Colleges by Dr. Andrea M. Ogilvie, Assistant Dean for Student Success & Assistant Professor of Instruction at Texas A&M University.

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