Across the academic world, countless universities have implemented first-year experience programs in order to improve student GPA and second-year retention. Backed by research-supported learning communities, freshman seminars, and one-on-one faculty mentorships, these programs focus on developing social and academic foundations for each student as they begin their academic careers. The University of Utah's College of Engineering implemented its own freshman program in the Fall of 2022 by welcoming its first cohort of Engineering Scholars. As the academic year progressed, however, faculty, advisors, and staff noticed a decrease in event attendance and response to emails across all departments. Through individual consultations with current Engineering Scholars, this study seeks to understand how these students' social and academic experiences in the program are affecting them, what the program is missing and doing well from the student's perspective, and what they expect to gain from a first-year program. By combining the results from these consultations with feedback from program managers, faculty advisors, and previous research, the researchers will create recommendations for future engineering first-year cohort initiatives that seek to better support research-oriented students in their freshman year.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Education
Faculty Mentor: Doug Schmucker
Location: Sill Center Conference Room (10:00am)