First-Year Engineering 2022 Impact Report
This annual report outlines the program's activities and results in numbers for student retention and transition-to-major as well captures the many highlights of the academic year.
Summary of Accomplishments of AY 2021-2022
- Advise and support the largest cohort of new engineers ever at Purdue (25% larger than the previous year) without additional staff support.
- Outstanding results in satisfaction of students in the VSTAR process during Summer 2021.
- Recognition, by a third-party evaluation, of the outstanding job that the FYE advising office has done during the past three years.
- Increase the offer of all of the FYE courses to cover the increase in student enrollment.
- Return to in-person classes while still dealing with significant number of COVID cases on-campus.
- Worked with the Schools of Engineering to offer over 65 in-person and online Engineering Your Major (EYM) sessions.
- Retain 94.1% of students to the University.
- 80% of the incoming students completed the First-Year Engineering Program on time.
Mission of the First-Engineering Program
To advise FYE students with the best resources available at purdue so they can be successful.
This is accomplished via the FYE academic advising team that always puts students first.
To prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be successful in their engineering majors at Purdue.
This is accomplished with a curriculum consisting of 29-33 credit-hours.
To retain the best students with the potential to be Purdue engineers.
This is done via 4 credit hours of engineering coursework in the fall and spring and by allowing students to make an informed decision about their choice of engineering major.
The Academic Year in Numbers
Enrollment data: Fall 2021 we received our largest class ever, with First-Year Engineering students.
New beginners' profile: pre-college scores
*Enrollment Management changed how they calculated unweighted GPA beginning Fall 2018
Advising In First-Year Engineering Program
The First-Year Engineering Academic advising office advises all First-Year Engineering students except students participating in the Goss Scholars learning Community (former Honors program). Students in the Goss Scholar Engineering Learning Community are advised by the Engineering Honors Advising Office.
During the academic year 2021-22, the First-Year Engineering Advising Office was back in person after working remotely the previous year, but they allowed flexibility for students to meet with their advisor either virtually or face-to-face. They meet individually with all the students in 45 minutes appointments, and they advised 3,063 First-Year Engineering students. Students were 99.6% satisfied with their advising experience, according to the results from the Virtual Student Transition, Advising, and Registration (VSTAR) survey.
First-Year Engineering Advising Assessment
As a result of a 2020 memo from then Acting Dean Mark Lundstrom, a recommendation was made to create an initiative to look into and improve student satisfaction with advising experiences in First-Year Engineering. Throughout the past two academic years, a team of individuals has met regularly to work on this initiative - headed by Dr. Beth Holloway, and during the 2021-22 academic year, this team engaged with the Education and Learning Research Center (ELRC) to develop and deploy a student survey and focus groups to understand perceptions and identify needs with regard to FYE advising. Survey development began in summer 2021 and continued through the beginning of the fall semester. The survey was deployed on November 2, 2021 to all currently enrolled engineering students from the Fall 2018, Fall 2019, and Fall 2020 cohorts, the vast majority of whom have finished FYE requirements and have transitioned to their engineering major (n=6517 students). The survey closed on December 5, 2021 with 805 responses (12% response rate). Students and current FYE advisors also participated in focus groups to gain further insight into the survey findings.
Across each domain, item, and most subgroups, students indicated that FYE Advising delivers an experience that they need and appreciate. Additionally, it was found that responses from each cohort (2018, 2019, and 2020) had increasingly positive responses about their experiences with FYE advising. The more recent that a student experienced FYE advising, the more positive their experience was noted - indicating a positive trend that can also be seen in VSTAR student experience feedback as well. While there are areas that provide opportunities for improvement, the results pointed to an overwhelmingly positive advising experience for students, and both students and advisors see FYE Advising as a service that offers academic guidance coupled with needed relational support for students. This study is believed to be one of the most comprehensive studies ever completed for any particular advising unit across Purdue's campus.
Introducing A New Tool For Major and Industry Exploration
Many students believe that there is only one engineering major that will take them to the engineering career that they want. However, we know that this is not true and that there is more than one pathway to different industries and careers in engineering. A project was created during the 2021-22 academic year to pull together the information about which engineering majors could take students to specific industries or careers and create a way to communicate this information to students. What began as an Excel spreadsheet to capture overlaps between majors and industries has evolved into a poster that has been printed and distributed across the College of Engineering and the rest of campus. The poster has recently been replicated on the First-Year Engineering website and has been made interactive - which includes descriptions of how the various majors and industries intersect.
New Director of First-Year Engineering Advising
After Billie Jennings's retirement at the beginning of Summer 2021, Curt Oechsle stepped in as the Interim Director of FYE Advising. Curt led the FYE advising team through a successful VSTAR season in Summer 2021, and he helped to successfully coordinate the FYE advising team's efforts to advise, prepare, and retain the largest group of students to ever come through the FYE program at one time. In February of 2022, Curt was named the next Director of First-Year Engineering Advising.
Transition To Major (T2M)
One of the major reasons that students chose Purdue over other Universities is the opportunity to have a whole year to explore different engineering majors and decided about their engineering major. Retention is also increased when students have the opportunity to make an informed decision about their engineering major. This is why in the recent years multiple colleges and university have decided to adopt a first-year model for their incoming students.
During the Fall of 2021, the FYE program partnered with the Schools of Engineering to offer 65+ Engineering your Major events for all FYE students.
At the end of Spring and Summer, 2,470 FYE completed the program and were eligible to transition to their major. 42% of them changed their choice of major from the moment that they applied to Purdue to the actual major that they moved to after the T2M process.
The figure below shows the way FYE students from the Fall 2021 cohort changed their major choices during their time in the FYE program at Purdue:
Table of overlap of industries and engineering majors
The First-Year Engineering Program worked with its partners in all the Schools and divisions in the College of Engineering, as well as with information from the Center of Career Opportunities (CCO) at Purdue, to put together a table of overlap of industries and engineering majors. The table shows the industry sectors in which engineers work and which kind of engineers most commonly work on a particular industry sector. We have heard wonderful reviews from prospective students, parents and advisors from this career exploration resource. We expect to continue to build on it in the future. The table is available online in the FYE website: Table of overlap of engineering majors by industry sectors
FYE students winning the West Lafayette Smart City Challenge
Two groups of First-Year Engineering students won the West Lafayette Smart City Challenge contest. The teams entered in the contest with their final designs for the Campus safety and mobility design project in their ENGR-131 course. The teams expanded in their designs for the WL Smart City contest and were mentored by Professor Sean Brophy and Jeannete Aguilar, from the School of Engineering Education. Learn more here: $15,000 awarded to three finalists of the West Lafayette Smart City Challenge
Microcontrollers for prototyping in ENGR-13100
For the last 4 years, the First-Year Engineering Program has built a relationship with Texas Instruments to use their microcontrollers kits in selected sections of ENGR-131. In the past academic year, the ENGR-13100 team, led by Dr. Jason Morphew and Dr. Senay Purzer, won an Instructional Equipment grant from the Provost office to use microcontrollers for prototyping in all sections of ENGR-13100. We expect to see development of instructional content and training in the following academic year and usage of the microcontrollers in all sections of ENGR-13100 by Fall 2024. Here is an example of the design projects that FYE students develop in ENGR-13100 using the TI microcontroller kits: ENGR131 finalvideo2