Enhancing student transitions into engineering from underrepresented backgrounds

Research output: Contribution to conferenceSpeech

Abstract

Traditionally, women and students from deprived communities are underrepresented in engineering programmes across Scotland and elsewhere. The HEA-funded EnTICE project sought to evaluate factors affecting transitions for these target groups. In the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, women and students from deprived areas of Scotland make up 21% and 18% of our current undergraduate population, respectively. Both figures track above national averages. The transition factors of particular interest were recruitment, retention, and progression in the critical first two years of study.

Analyses identified that students from these backgrounds were performing as well as, if not better than, their classmates, though discrepancies remained at the highest levels of achievement. Student feedback from focus groups and anonymous surveys identified maths and engineering mechanics as the curriculum areas where further support would be most helpful. Further gaps were identified in the transition between college and university maths, which is particularly important for our mature students. These results informed a package of curriculum changes, tutorial support, peer mentoring, and faculty support for all students.

This presentation will explore lessons learned during the EnTICE project and practical measures that other institutions can pursue to support successful transitions of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Conference

Conference13th Annual Enhancement Themes Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period9/06/169/06/16
Internet address

Fingerprint

Students
engineering
student
Curricula
environmental engineering
curriculum
Environmental engineering
target group
Civil engineering
mentoring
mechanic
Mechanics
Feedback
university
community
Group

Keywords

  • engineering students
  • underrepresented students
  • transitions

Cite this

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title = "Enhancing student transitions into engineering from underrepresented backgrounds",
abstract = "Traditionally, women and students from deprived communities are underrepresented in engineering programmes across Scotland and elsewhere. The HEA-funded EnTICE project sought to evaluate factors affecting transitions for these target groups. In the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, women and students from deprived areas of Scotland make up 21{\%} and 18{\%} of our current undergraduate population, respectively. Both figures track above national averages. The transition factors of particular interest were recruitment, retention, and progression in the critical first two years of study. Analyses identified that students from these backgrounds were performing as well as, if not better than, their classmates, though discrepancies remained at the highest levels of achievement. Student feedback from focus groups and anonymous surveys identified maths and engineering mechanics as the curriculum areas where further support would be most helpful. Further gaps were identified in the transition between college and university maths, which is particularly important for our mature students. These results informed a package of curriculum changes, tutorial support, peer mentoring, and faculty support for all students.This presentation will explore lessons learned during the EnTICE project and practical measures that other institutions can pursue to support successful transitions of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.",
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Switzer, C, Nicol, E, Bertram, D, Kenny, M, Murray, M & Ferguson, N 2016, 'Enhancing student transitions into engineering from underrepresented backgrounds' 13th Annual Enhancement Themes Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 9/06/16 - 9/06/16, .

Enhancing student transitions into engineering from underrepresented backgrounds. / Switzer, Christine; Nicol, Emma; Bertram, Douglas; Kenny, Michael; Murray, Michael; Ferguson, Neil.

2016. 13th Annual Enhancement Themes Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceSpeech

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