Addressing retention at an English-medium Engineering College: A case study of Freshman students in the Middle East

M. Hatakka, J. Small, R. Van Der Merwe, S. Ainane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The low student retention rate in an English medium engineering college in the Middle East has been attributed to the students' lack of readiness in language and sciences, lack of motivation, and issues regarding adjusting to university life. To address this, a new freshman course called Introduction to Engineering, ENGR110 was introduced in 2015. The course, incorporated into the First Year Experience (FYE) program, was designed to introduce students to the different majors offered, soft skills such as team work, time management, goal setting, problem-solving, and to establish a learning community on campus. It includes hands-on activities, problem-solving sessions, seminars/workshops, field trips as well as presentations by alumni. A particular emphasis on having students make informed decisions early about their choice of major was seen as critical in getting students focused and motivated. This paper describes the impact that the course has had on student retention based on students' to two consecutive surveys.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017
EditorsJorge Bernardino, Joao Rocha, Jose Carlos Quadrado
Pages903-910
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789899887572
StatePublished - 2017
Event45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017 - Angra do Heroismo, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal
Duration: 18 Sep 201721 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 - Education Excellence for Sustainability, SEFI 2017

Conference

Conference45th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2017
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityAngra do Heroismo, Terceira Island, Azores
Period18/09/1721/09/17

Keywords

  • First-year experience (FYE)
  • Learner-centered teaching
  • Retention

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