Session F4D RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENT ... - ICEE

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1 Robert Montgomery, Dept. of Freshman Engrng., Purdue University, 1286 Engineering Admin. Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1286, [email protected]

Session F4D RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENT FIRST-YEAR ENGINEERING SEMINARS Robert Montgomery1 , Deborah Follman 2 , and Heidi Diefes-Dux 3 Abstract - The importance of first-year small group seminars in student retention has been well-documented by many researchers. The offerings of Purdue's Department of Freshman Engineering have varied over the years, with instructors continually striving to improve the format and content of the first-year seminar courses. A recent change to one of these seminars has prompted a preliminary evaluation of seminar effectiveness. Three seminars were investigated: ENGR 104, ENGR 103, and ENGR 100. ENGR 104, Introduction to Engineering and Purdue, is led by peer mentors and provides "survival skills" and insight into being an engineering student from the perspective of upper-division engineering students. ENGR 103, Introduction to Careers in Engineering, covers current engineering issues and/or research topics in addition to college “survival skills”. ENGR 100, Freshman Engineering Lectures, is a large seminar introduction to the engineering disciplines that is required for all first-year engineering students. It can be taken alone or imbedded in ENGR 103 and ENGR 104. Both ENGR 103 and ENGR 100 are led by engineering faculty from Purdue’s schools of engineering. The primary objective of this research is to evaluate the ways the different seminar types (instructor-led versus student-led and small-group versus large lecture) may affect such outcomes as student satisfaction, confidence in major choice, academic performance, and retention in engineering. In this paper, differences in student retention, interest in and understanding of engineering disciplines and careers, and satisfaction with the seminar offering taken among students in the three different seminars will be evaluated. Furthermore, the extent to which students are sure about their choice of major, to which the seminar contributed to this decision, and to which the seminar aided their academic and personal transition to college will be discussed. Index Terms - First year seminar, freshman engineering, orientation.

INTRODUCTION In The Freshman Year Experience [1], it is concluded that freshman seminars are associated with improved academic performance, and that, on the whole, freshman seminars are a positive influence on retention. Numerous research-based 1 2 3

studies of first-year seminars confirm enhanced academic performance, greater persistence, and increased student satisfaction [2]. For instance, Sarke [3] found that grade and enrollment in a college seminar was the best of eight variables analyzed to predict cumulative grade point average after four semesters in a 4-year liberal arts college. Starke, et. al. [4] followed eight cohorts of students who took a firstyear orientation seminar and found that student retention, graduation rate, grade point average, and other satisfaction, participation, and skills measures were significantly better than for those students not enrolled in an orientation seminar. The positive impact of the first-year seminar has been recognized for at least 25 years [5]. Still, as of 1992, Purdue's Department of Freshman Engineering offered no small seminar classes for the general population of first-year engineering students. A seminar offering small group experiences was available for women, and medium-sized seminar classes were available for minority students and honors program students. While all first-year students were required to take ENGR 100, an introduction to the various engineering disciplines, taught in a large lecture hall, this course did and does not provide an environment suitable for the types of activities that are deemed important for helping students bond to the university. As the Freshman Engineering faculty evolved to include newcomers with a background in education issues, awareness of the importance of first-year seminars increased and opportunities were generated for students in the Department. The first generally offered seminar class was piloted in 1993 by Freshman Engineering faculty with a class size of 40 students and organized so as to include attendance at the ENGR 100 lectures as an integral part of the course. The capacity of this course was increased the following year by assigning additional faculty to the course, and thus enabling 200 students to be served in 5 class sections. Analysis of these early offerings showed that students were "significantly more satisfied with counseling" and had "a more positive impression of the university and its faculty and staff" [4]. Freshman Engineering has maintained that a first-year seminar should be required of all students. The purpose of this paper is to describe and evaluate two of the first-year seminars that serve approximately 40% of our entering freshman students. The Fall 2002 data analysis presented

Robert Montgomery, Dept. of Freshman Engrng., Purdue University, 1286 Engineering Admin. Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1286, [email protected] Deborah Follman, Dept. of Freshman Engrng., Purdue University, 1286 Engineering Admin. Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1286, [email protected] Heidi Diefes-Dux, Dept. of Freshman Engrng., P urdue University, 1286 Engineering Admin. Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1286, [email protected]

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Session F4D here enables continuous improvement and refocusing of the courses and begins to get at the impact of these courses on first semester performance and retention in engineering in the second semester.

FRESHMAN S EMINARS Today's seminar offerings in the Department of Freshman Engineering include those original courses: ENGR 194 for women, ENGR 170 for minority students and ENGR 100H and 105H for Honors Program students. The seminar offered as a pilot course for 40 students in 1993 has evolved through a series of name, content, and format changes to become ENGR 103, with current individual seminar class enrollments of about 30 students. A student-led seminar, ENGR 104, has also been added to the cadre of seminars. ENGR 100 – Freshman Engineering Lectures Freshman engineering students are introduced to the various engineering disciplines in the one credit hour, pass/fail course. Each week a faculty member from a different engineering school at Purdue gives a 50-minute overview of his/her discipline. Students learn about the nature of the work done by engineers in each field, current research or major projects in the field, the types of companies who hire engineers in the field, starting salaries, etc., as well as the curricula, programs, and facilities each school of engineering offers. Information about Purdue’s cooperative education program is also presented. Primarily lecture-driven (division sizes average ~350 students per division), ENGR 100 serves to give students a broader understanding of engineering as a career and the differences among the disciplines so that they might choose a major that best suits their interests. The course is required for all first-year engineering students and can be taken alone or in conjunction with ENGR 103 or ENGR 104. Course grades are based on attendance. While ENGR 100 is not a small group first-year seminar experience, it is the only course with the sole focus of providing information that enables students to choose a field of engineering to study and understand the academic and career opportunities within the different fields of engineering. This course will be used as the basis to compare the impact of the small group first-year seminar courses. ENGR 103 – Introduction to Careers in Engineering ENGR 103 has undergone a number of evolutionary steps. First an experimental seminar for classes of 40 students, offered as ENGR 195D; the course was described as a "supplemental orientation course" [6]. It included such topics as Purdue resources, study skills, time management, library skills, co-ops and internships, health and fitness, ethics, diversity, and student organizations. As the number of course divisions grew in response to the perceived value of seminar courses to the students, the size was adjusted downward to facilitate the desired

interaction between students and faculty. In parallel with the downward shift in class size, emphasis on "career" aspects increased. Sessions on the Myers -Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and its impact on career choices were added, as was coverage of Purdue resources specifically directed toward career selection. This latter topic also included coverage of Purdue's Engineering Specific Career Advisory Problemsolving Environment (ESCAPE) web site. This version of the course was maintained in its essence and was offered in two sections in the fall semester of 2002. At that time, the remaining course divisions were radically modified. Several course divisions were offered to engineering faculty members who would volunteer to teach material of their choosing to these classes of 30 first-year students. Seven faculty from the Schools of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Aeronautics and Astronautics submitted proposals for new ENGR 103 sections. In general, the faculty saw the class as an opportunity to interact with freshman engineering students and teach them about their area of specialization as well as an opportunity to recruit students into their own engineering programs. Table I shows the syllabus followed by the Civil Engineering faculty member, a transportation engineering specialist. It is important to note that the topics for those weeks marked with an asterisk (*) in the table were carried over from the traditional version of the course. These topics tended toward the "survival skills" and "career exploration" lines of coverage and were generally presented by guest lecturers from outside the engineering faculty ranks. More importantly from an administrative standpoint, they were coordinated by Freshman Engineering staff. This relieved the volunteering faculty members from the Professional School programs of the burden of covering these materials, allowing them to focus on the specialized engineering materials being offered to the first-year students. In this one-credit hour course, students receive a letter grade based on attendance and satisfactory completion of homework assignments. Because attending the ENGR 100 lectures is a course requirement, this is also factored into final grades. However, each small group instructor set grading criteria for their section, so there was no consistent expectation across the course. ENGR 104 – Introduction to Engineering and Purdue ENGR 104 is a one-credit hour, letter graded first-year seminar. It meets twice a week, with students attending ENGR 100 for one hour and a small group (N=10-18) discussion led by two upper-division engineering peer mentors for the other hour. The course grade is based on attendance and satisfactory completion of the homework assignments.

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Session F4D TABLE I ENGR 103 T RANSPORTATION ENGINEERING SYLLABUS Week Topics and Assignments 1* Topic: Getting acquainted; transition to college video Assignment: Email to instructor 2 Topic: Introduction to traffic signals: Overview of general traffic signal operation and vehicle detection. Assignment: Counting cars 3* Topic: Writing lab presentation: Resumes Assignment: Write resume and attend Industrial Roundtable 4 Topic: Stadium & Nort hwestern intersection data collection: field trip to stadium & northwestern and traffic lab to see data collection scheme Assignment: Using Opto 22 Website 5* Topic: Learning Center presentation – time management Assignment: Weekly time management plan 6 Topic: Using Excel to analyze count data and webpage design using Microsoft FrontPage Assignment: Excel analysis with results published on own web page 7* Topic: Engineering library presentation – evaluating sources of information 8 Topic: Accessing XML data using HTML web pages: retrieving XML data from the Civil Engineering parking lot cabinet and how to display it in HTML Assignment: Modify existing web pages to display XML data. 9 Topic: Logging XML data using Microsoft Access Assignment: Modify existing web pages to display XML data 10* Topic: Registration for spring classes 11 Topic: Intersection data collection using XML: how to collect data at an intersection Assignment: Count cars and collect data with Access 12* Topic: Center for Career Opportunities – Meyers Briggs Type Indicator 13 Topic: More traffic operation discussion and video detection clips: View traffic simulations based on the counts collected by students. Discuss ring structures and watch video detection error clips. Assignment: Class Evaluation 14 Topic: Final remarks and other transportation research 15* Topic: Course evaluation * This week coordinated by Freshman Engineering staff

The peer mentors receive about 16 hours of training from the Department of Freshman Engineering faculty and academic advisors through ENGR 404 - Instruction, Mentorship, and Leadership. Eight hours of this training occurs before the peer mentors step in to the ENGR 104 classroom for the first time. Table II is a typical syllabus for ENGR 104. The course emphasizes the establishment of a mentor-mentee relationship to facilitate academic and personal transition from high school to college. The specific course learning objectives are stated in Table III. The peer mentors split class time between delivering content (e.g. resume writing, time management) and mentoring (e.g. regrouping following the first round of exams). The peer mentors employ active and cooperative learning as much as possible. One example of this is an in class Egg Drop design competition.

TABLE II Week 1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

ENGR 104 SAMPLE SYLLABUS Topics and Assignments Topic: Welcome to Purdue University (course introduction and getting acquainted) Assignment: 5 Questions and 5 Goals Topic: How to Make a Resume Assignment: Resume Topic: Surprise Location for Class (to increase familiarity with campus and campus resources and provide a bonding experience with assigned peer mentors) Assignment: Two day detailed schedule Topic: Time Management Assignment: Attend a Student Organization Meeting Topic: Alcohol Awareness Assignment: Generate Project Ideas Topic: Egg Drop Assignment: Letter to Self (about what you expect to accomplish this year) Topic: Post First -Round of Exams Discussion Assignment: Prepare for Spring Registration October Break Topic: Spring Registration Assignment: Generate Panel Questions Topic: Co-Op, Intern, Study Abroad, & Majors Student Panel Assignment: Plan of Study Topic: Engineering Lab Tours Assignment: Engineering Lab Tour Evaluations Topic: PowerPoint Workshop Assignment: Team Project Topic: Housing Forum & Spaghetti Tower Assignment: Class Evaluation Topic: Team Presentations & Course Evaluation

Homework assignments help students prepare to participate more fully in class, reflect or practice what they have learned, and explore engineering. In the latter case, student teams researched a product that would be of interest to middle school students. They focused on discovering how engineers have contributed to the development or improvement of the product and what engineering coursework provides the background for engineers to successfully work for a company manufacturing the product.

DATA COLLECTION Data collection during and subsequent to the Fall 2002 offerings of ENGR 100, ENGR 103, and ENGR 104 was done to evaluate the students' perceived achievement of course learning objectives and overall quality of the courses and to begin to understand the impact of the first-year seminars on student achievement and retention in engineering. Fall 2002 student enrollments in ENGR 100 (with co-enrollment in no other Freshman Engineering seminar offering), ENGR 103, and ENGR 104 were 657, 268, and 459, respectively. Students in all ENGR 103 and 104 sections completed a common summative course evaluation. Students rated on a 4-item Likert-type scale (1) the extent to which their section met course objectives and (2) their overall evaluation of the course. The responses to these questions were: Yes, Definitely, Yes, With Reservations, Not Really, and Definitely Not. Students used

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Session F4D a 5-item Likert-type scale to rate the overall course. The responses were: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, and Very Poor. During the Fall 2002 semester, students in the seminar classes were asked to report their top three engineering major preferences. For each preference, the students were asked to rate their confidence with respect to their major preference on a 6-item Likert-type scale (ranging from Extremely Confident to (Un)Confident to Extremely Unconfident) and select from a list of options the major influence in their preference. The list included freshman engineering seminars and courses offered, family members, high school guidance counselors or teachers, Purdue advisors, Purdue faculty, Purdue students, extracurricular activities, self exploration, or other. Students completed this survey four times during the semester. Here we have included partial results from the first survey completed during the first and second week of classes and the fourth survey completed during the sixteenth (last) week of classes. Only the responses of those students answering both surveys (68% of all students) are analyzed in this paper. Purdue's student database was used to gather information regarding the first semester GPA and retention in engineering in the second semester for all students enrolled in ENGR 100, ENGR 103, or ENGR 104 in Fall 2002. Students included in the ENGR 100 analysis were those students taking ENGR 100 with no other Freshman Engineering seminar option (i.e. Women in Engineering Seminar or Orientation Seminar for Minority Engineering Students); this does not preclude having students in the analysis that were also taking one of the freshman seminars offered by the Schools of Engineering.

each ENGR 103 instructor at the beginning of the semester. As a result, not all faculty purposefully designed their sections so that the objectives listed in Table III were met. It is therefore not surprising that course learning objectives related to academic and personal transition, etc. were not as highly rated. TABLE III

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO RATED THE EXTENT TOWHICH THEIR ENGR 103 OR 104 SECTION MET COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES W ITH "YES, D EFINITELY" AND "YES, W ITH RESERVATIONS" ENGR ENGR Course Learning Objectives 103 104 Has this course… (N=213) (N=432) Aided you in making an academic transition 33% 64% from high school to Purdue life? Aided you in making a personal transition from 27% 58% high school to Purdue life? Given you a perspective on what it takes to 67% 69% succeed as an engineer? Given you a perspective on how to balance 49% 66% academic and personal life? Given you an understanding of the academic and career opportunities within the different 75% 81% fields of engineering? Encouraged you to develop a network of classmates with whom to study and socially 33% 59% interact? Enabled you to take advantage of Purdue 59% 75% University resources and opportunities? Encouraged you to develop a comfortable working relationship with an engineering 47% NAa faculty member? Excited you about at least one aspect of a career 73% NA in engineering? Encouraged you to develop a mentor-mentee NA 65% relationship with an upperclassman a NA = Not Applicable or evaluated for the course indicated

During the Fall Registration period, incoming freshman engineering students were presented with a description of all of the Freshman Engineering seminar options. An academic advisor helped students select the most appropriate seminar option, and courses were filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Again, ENGR 100 is required of all freshman engineering students; all other seminars are optional, though highly encouraged. Table III gives an indication of the extent to which students enrolled in ENGR 103 and ENGR 104 believed their course section met the course learning objectives. Given that ENGR 103 emphasizes careers in engineering, it is not surprising that students in ENGR 103 rated course learning objectives related to engineering as a career (i.e. excitement about an aspect of engineering, perspective of what it takes to succeed as an engineer, and understanding of the academic and career opportunities within the different fields of engineering) more highly than the other course learning objectives. It should be noted in the case of ENGR 103 that each instructor designed course objectives for his/her section; i.e. the course objectives listed in Table III were not provided to

On the other hand, these course learning objectives were presented in the ENGR 104 course syllabus and the training of the peer mentors covers all of these issues. This has likely resulted in higher ratings across the course learning objectives as compared to ENGR 103. This analysis certainly provides a starting point for discussions on which course learning objectives are important in ENGR 103 and should be addressed more fully. It also highlights areas of weaknesses in both classes. For instance, one of the things that was hoped for in ENGR 103 was that students would make a connection with a faculty member. This item was not particularly highly rated and may be the result of a 30-student class size. ENGR 104 also suffered from a relatively low rating in the category of establishing a mentor-mentee relationship. This is being addressed in the future with more focused and continuous mentoring training for both the peer mentors and the ENGR 104 students. Table IV summarizes students' general satisfaction with the courses. Most students were satisfied with the variety of topics covered and the quality of topic coverage in both courses. Students in ENGR 104 agreed to a greater extent

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Session F4D than those in ENGR 103 that they would register for the course again, would recommend the course, and enjoyed the course. Part of the reason for the lower rating in ENGR 103 was the fact that students did not necessarily enroll in their first choice section. This was due to uneven demand for the various topics offered. A more thorough discussion of this problem is given in [7]. TABLE IV PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO RATED OVERALL COURSE EVALUATION I TEMS W ITH "YES, DEFINITELY" AND "YES, W ITH RESERVATIONS" OR "E XCELLENT" AND "GOOD " ENGR ENGR General Course Evaluation Item 103 104 (N=213) (N=432) Are you satisfied with the variety of topics 73% 88% covered? Are you satisfied with the quality of topic 75% 87% coverage? If you were an incoming freshman engineer all over again, would you register for this 60% 85% course? Would you recommend this course to new 68% 87% incoming freshmen? Did you enjoy this course? 67% 91% Overall, I rate this course as excellent or 60% 86% good (Note: this item was rated using Excellent = 4, Very Good = 3 …)

There are considerable pitfalls in directly comparing the evaluations of ENGR 103 and ENGR 104. The format of eight of the ten ENGR 103 sections was new as of Fall 2002, and topics and assignments varied greatly across sections. ENGR 104, with the exception of a stepped-up mentoring aspect, has changed little over the last three years and there is greater homogeneity of topic coverage and assignments across the sections. The students are also evaluating ENGR 103 faculty versus ENGR 104 peer mentors. The authors contend that students are far more likely to be critical of courses taught by faculty and likely have higher expectations of a course taught by faculty than those taught by their peers. These measures do however provide a means of monitoring the quality of each course independently from year to year. Eighty-seven percent of the students, overall, reported at the beginning of their freshman year that they were either confident, moderately confident, or extremely confident they knew the engineering discipline in which they would major (Table V). In week 16, 3% of these students were referring to a non-engineering major. By the last week of the semester, 91% of the students reported they were still confident regarding their major selection; however, the students’ degree of confidence increased. At the beginning of the semester, an average of 25% of the students reported they were “extremely confident” about their major choice. By the end of the semester, this number increased to 45%. Higher percentages of students reported higher confidence ratings at the end of the semester regardless of the ENGR seminar they attended. It appears the type of seminar the student attended had little effect on the degree to which the

student believed he/she knew which engineering discipline to select. TABLE V STUDENTS’ CONFIDENCE IN MAJOR SELECTION DURING FALL 2002. First Two Weeks of Fall 2002 Semester Seminar N “Confident” “Moderately “Extremely Sum Confident” Confident” ENGR 100 414 24% 40% 26% 90% ENGR 103 186 24% 35% 24% 83% ENGR 104 335 23% 39% 25% 87%

Seminar ENGR 100 ENGR 103 ENGR 104

Last Week of Fall 2002 Semester “Confident” “Moderately “Extremely Confident” Confident” 414 15% 29% 48% 186 15% 30% 46% 335 14% 34% 42% N

Sum 92% 90% 90%

The extent to which students perceived the engineering seminars helped them choose an engineering discipline is given in Table VI. At the end of the semester, twenty-six, fourteen, and thirteen percent of the students in ENGR 100, ENGR 103, and ENGR 104 cited ENGR 100 as having the most or second-most impact on their major selection, respectively. In addition, 16% of the students in ENGR 103 and 17% of the students in ENGR 104 cited the smaller seminars as helping them choose a major. Only “selfexploration” (64%), “family members” (29%), and “other” (20%) were cited on average as or more frequently than the seminars as factors influencing major choice. TABLE VI I NFLUENCE OF SEMINARS ON STUDENT MAJOR SELECTION Seminar N ENGR 100 ENGR 103 ENGR 104 Biggest Biggest Biggest nd nd Influence/2 Influence/2 Influence/2nd Biggest Biggest Biggest Influence Influence Influence 13% ENGR 100 414 NA NA 15% 7% 11% ENGR 103 186 NA 8% 6% 6% 10% ENGR 104 335 NA 7% 9%

Table VII addresses the issue of academic performance and retention for students enrolled in a small group seminar. The slightly higher first semester GPAs for students enrolled in ENGR 103 and ENGR 104 as compared to students enrolled in ENGR 100 can be accounted for by the lettergraded credit of the ENGR 103 and 104 courses. ENGR 100 on its own is a pass-fail course and does not affect the GPA, whereas most students earn an A in ENGR 103 and ENGR 104. That one credit-hour with a letter grade of A could also explain the difference in the percent of students earning a GPA greater than 2.0.

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Session F4D TABLE VII STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND RETENTION Seminar N First % with % Retention Semester GPA > 2.0 in GPA Engineering ENGR 100 657 2.71 80% 75% ENGR 103 268 2.84 85% 92% ENGR 104 459 2.86 86% 95%

participation in the continuous improvement of ENGR 104 and the training program.

REFERENCES [1] [2]

Retention of students in engineering in the second semester is significantly lower for students solely enrolled in ENGR 100 as compared to ENGR 103 and ENGR 104. While it is felt by the authors that the more personal engagement of students with either faculty or peer mentors makes the difference, the authors also realize that students self-select into these seminar options. As evidenced by Table V, these students do not appear more confident about which major they will select than students only enrolled in ENGR 100; however, it is possible these self-selecting students are more motivated about engineering in general.

[3]

[4] [5] [6]

CONCLUSIONS AND N EXT STEPS While it is probably safe to conclude that the various seminar offerings in the Department of Freshman Engineering at Purdue University lead to improved retention in engineering for the students who participate in them, the ext ent of the improvement will not be known until longitudinal data may be examined for the cohort of students studied herein. With regard to the weaknesses noted in the analysis of the seminar courses, ENGR 103 could benefit from some development in terms of consistency and emphasis. However, this will probably not be possible while experimentation with the course format continues. In the meantime, some course “infrastructure” put in place to aid instructors in communicating course objectives to the students may help in improving student perceptions of course efficacy. Further analysis of the data collected in Fall 2002 will be conducted. The question of the self-selection effect will be addressed through analysis of extensive self-reported data collected during the Fall 2002 registration period. This data may provide insight into student motivation for engineering or identify characteristics of students that tend to self-select into these seminars. The effect of other or multiple first-year seminar experiences on GPA, retention, and major selection will also be investigated.

[7]

Upcraft, M. L., & Gardner, J. N. The freshman year experience: Helping students survive and succeed in college, San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1989. Koch, A.K. (Ed.) The first-year experience in American higher education: An annotated bibliography (Monograph No. 3), 3 rd ed., Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina, National resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 2001. Starke, M. "Retention, Bonding, and Academic Achievement: Effectiveness of the College Seminar in Promoting College Success", 13th Annual Freshman Year Experience National Conference, Columbia, SC, February 18-22, 1994. Starke, M. C., Harth, M., and Sirianni, F. "Retention, Bonding, and Academic Achievement: Success of a First -Year Seminar", Journal of the Freshman Year Experience, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 7-35, Fall 2001. Cohen, R.D. and Jody, R. Freshman seminar: A new orientation, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1978. Hatton, D.M., Wankat, P.C., and LeBold, W.K. "The Effects of an Orientation Course on the Attitudes of Freshman Engineering Students", Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 87, No. 1, pp. 2327, 1998. Montgomery, R., Follman, D., and Diefes-Dux, H. "First-Year Seminars in Engineering Excitement", ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference, Valparaiso, Indiana, 2003.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors wish to thank the Committee on First-Year Seminar Experiences of the Lilly Endowment Retention Initiatives for the funding involved in the implementation of the ENGR 103 course modifications discussed herein. The authors would also like to thank the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation for their invaluable help in selecting and training the peer mentors for ENGR 104 and 0-7803-7961-6/03/$17.00 © 2003 IEEE November 5-8, 2003, Boulder, CO 33 rd ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference F4D-12

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