Assessing a Summer Engineering Math and Projects Bootcamp to Improve Retention and Graduation Rates in Engineering and Computer Science

Zahrasadat Alavi, Kathleen Meehan, Kevin Buffardi, Webster Johnson, Joseph Greene
2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access Proceedings   unpublished
This complete Evidence-Based Practice paper discusses the efforts made to increase four-year and six-year graduation rates of students who declare a major in one of the engineering or computer science programs upon matriculating at California State University, Chico (CSU Chico). The four-year and six-year rates in these programs (~12% and 56%, respectively) are well below the University's average graduation rates; it is critical that they increase to meet CSU Chico's goals for graduation rates
more » ... r graduation rates of 41% and 74%, respectively. The authors created a threeweek summer bootcamp to strengthen student understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics and critical thinking as applied in these disciplines through a series of hands-on projects. Expected project outcomes were 1) an improvement in students' math skills and 2) to enable students to make better informed choices for their major in their first year at CSU Chico. The bootcamp recruited matriculating students in engineering and computer science from underrepresented minorities and first-generation and low-income populations. The core of the bootcamp curriculum was an intensive math program designed to stimulate deeper understanding of algebra and trigonometry and practical problem-solving skills. The curriculum also included Problem-Based Learning (PBL) modules with projects that applied concepts from computer science and mechanical, mechatronic, computer, and electrical engineering.
doi:10.18260/1-2--34172 fatcat:msknuzxj3ngcnpqsxssodyrxwe