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The Academy of Engineering Success (AcES) program, established in 2012 and supported by NSF S-STEM award number 1644119 throughout 2016-2021, employs literature-based, best practices to support and retain underprepared and underrepresented students in engineering through graduation with the ultimate goal of diversifying the engineering workforce. A total of 71 students, including 21 students supported by S-STEM scholarships, participated in the AcES program between 2016-2019 at a large R1 institution in the mid-Atlantic region. All AcES students participate in a common program during their first year, comprised of: a one-week summer bridge experience, a common fall professional development course and spring “Engineering in History” course, and a common academic advisor. These students also have opportunities for: (1) faculty-student, student-student, and industry mentor-student interaction, (2) academic support and student success education, and (3) major and career exploration – all designed to help students develop feelings of institutional inclusion, engineering self-efficacy and identity, and academic and professional success skills. They also participate in the GRIT, Longitudinal Assessment of Engineering Self-Efficacy (LAESE), and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) surveys plus individual and focus group interviews at the start, midpoint, and end of each fall semester and at the end of the springmore »
The Academy of Engineering Success (AcES) program employs known best practices to support engineering students with the goal of retaining them through graduation and diversifying the engineering workforce. The AcES program started in 2012 and has been supported by NSF SSTEM award number DUE-1644119 since 2016. Cohorts from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 consist of 12, 20, 22, and 17 students, respectively. Twenty-one renewable S-STEM supported scholarships have been awarded to students since 2016. AcES students participate in a one-week pre-fall bridge experience, a common fall professional development course, and a course emphasizing the role of engineers in societal development in the spring semester. Starting in the bridge experience and continuing until graduation, students participate in curricular and co-curricular activities with the goals of: (1) fostering feelings of belonging in engineering and institutional inclusion, (2) encouraging professional development, and (3) supporting academic achievement and student success. These goals are achieved by providing: (1) opportunities for interaction between students and peers, faculty, and industry mentors; (2) major and career exploration opportunities; and (3) academic support and student success education in areas such as time management and study skills. AcES students participate in the GRIT, LAESE, and MSLQ surveys, as well asmore »
How Do Student Perceptions of Engineers and Engineering as a Career Relate to Their Self-Efficacy, Career Expectations, and Grittiness?This complete research paper examines the connection between student beliefs about engineering as a profession, as well as the perceptions of their family and friends, to their reported self-efficacy, career expectations, and grittiness. The student responses examined were obtained from non-calculus ready engineering students at a large land grant institution in the Mid-Atlantic region. The students participated in a well-established program focused on cohort formation, mentorship, professional skill development, and fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging in engineering. The program, consisting of a one-week pre-fall bridge experience and two common courses, was founded in 2012 and has been operating with National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM funding since 2016. Students who received S-STEM funded scholarships are required to participate in focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and complete LAESE, MSLQ, and GRIT questionnaires each semester. The researchers applied qualitative coding methods to evaluate student responses from focus groups and one-one-one interviews which were conducted from 2017 to 2019. Questions examined in this paper include: 1) How would you describe an engineer? 2) Please describe what you think an engineer does on a daily basis. 3) What do you think your friends/family think of engineering? 4) What skills or characteristics do you thinkmore »
The Academy of Engineering Success (AcES), supported by an NSF S-STEM grant since 2016, employs literature-based, best practices to support and retain students in engineering. AcES students participate in a one-week summer bridge experience; a common fall semester course focused on professional development, time management and study skills, and career exploration; and a common spring semester course emphasizing the role of engineers in societal development. Students are also immersed in co-curricular activities with the goals of fostering feelings of institutional inclusion and belonging in engineering, providing academic support and student success skills, and professional development. AcES students participate in the GRIT, LAESE, and MSLQ surveys at the start and end of each fall semester and at the end of the spring semester each year. Focus group data is collected at the beginning, middle and end of each semester and one-on-one interviews occur at the start and end of each semester. The surveys provide a measure of students’ GRIT, general self-efficacy, engineering self-efficacy, test anxiety, math outcome efficacy, intrinsic value of learning, inclusion, career expectations, and coping efficacy. A previous study, based on an analysis of the 2017 AcES cohort survey responses, produced a surprising result. When the responses of AcESmore »