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.


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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
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.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
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 : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified

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