The end of the pipeline: profiling commencing students to ease their transition into an engineering school

Dowling, David and Burton, Lorelle J. (2005) The end of the pipeline: profiling commencing students to ease their transition into an engineering school. In: 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, 26-29 Sept 2005, Sydney, Australia.


Download (68Kb)


In recent years changes in secondary school curricula and subject selection policies have meant that engineering schools in Australia have had to accommodate an increasingly diverse commencing student cohort. Because students have followed different pathways prior to enrolling in their program, there is a considerable variation in their knowledge, skills, and work experiences, and they also have different educational and socio-cultural backgrounds. It is posited that to facilitate the successful transition of these students into their university programs, educators need to understand the characteristics of the commencing cohort and how these characteristics may influence student success. This paper describes the first stage of a research project being undertaken in the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The project aims to firstly provide an insight into the characteristics of the students in the commencing cohort and then to identify the key predictors of academic success, particularly in the first year engineering programs. Stage 1 of the project involved collecting data to establish the 'learning profiles' of students from the 2004 commencing on-campus cohort. The data included demographic information, learning preferences, verbal and spatial abilities, personality traits, and general self-efficacy. The academic achievement of these students will be tracked through to their departure from the university. The key findings from this study are discussed and the implications for the Faculty are highlighted.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 1335
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Depositing User: Prof David Dowling
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:40
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: first year experience, engineering education, undergraduate success.
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only