The Effect of a First-Year Integrated Engineering Curriculum on Graduation Rates and Student Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study

Authors

  • Dr. BARBARA M. OLDS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies Colorado School of Mines
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    • Dr. Barbara M. Olds is Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines. She has participated in a number of curriculum innovation projects and has been active in the engineering education and assessment communities. She was a Fulbright lecturer/researcher in Sweden in 1999. Dr. Olds is presently serving as Director of the Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication in the EHR Directorate of the National Science Foundation.

  • Dr. RONALD L. MILLER

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering Colorado School of Mines
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    • Dr. Ronald L. Miller is professor of chemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines where he has taught chemical engineering and interdisciplinary courses and conducted research in educational methods for the past seventeen years. He has received three university-wide teaching awards and has held a Jenni teaching fellowship at CSM. He has received grant awards for educational research from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education (FIPSE), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.


Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401; telephone: 703–816-4145; email: bolds@mines.edu.

Chemical Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401; telephone: 303-273-3892; email: rlmiller@mines.edu.

Abstract

This paper reports on the long-term results of a two-year experiment conducted in the 1994–1995 and 1995–1996 academic years in which a group of “average” engineering students was recruited for a first-year program that integrated curricula and fostered a learning community. Students who participated in the Connections program graduated at a significantly higher rate than their peers and reflected retrospectively that the program had a strong positive effect on their college careers.

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