Engaging Engineering

05.18.2011 | Students, Energy and Environment

The National Science Foundation has tapped the University of Dayton School of Engineering to work alongside some of the nation's top engineering schools to increase retention of undergraduate engineering students.

The University of Dayton will work with The Ohio State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Purdue University, among others, in the NSF's ENGAGE program to improve day-to-day classroom and educational experiences for students.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the School of Engineering to build upon what already is a high-quality engineering education and add to our impressive retention numbers," University of Dayton School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said. "We look forward to working with some of the nation's best engineering schools on ways to improve engineering education nationwide."

According to Saliba, the school's retention rate for first-year students is 90 percent and the four-year graduation rate has been as high as 70 percent, both higher than the national average.

The ENGAGE model is a three-pronged approach: use familiar, everyday examples to engage students and illustrate engineering concepts, help students with spatial skills involved in engineering and strengthen faculty-student interaction. According to ENGAGE, the three strategies were selected because they have been found to increase retention of undergraduate engineering students, particularly women. They are enhancements to the curriculum, rather than changes. Four representatives from each school will participate in the project to help implement the three research-based strategies in their engineering school.

University of Dayton representatives will attend a kickoff workshop May 31-June 2 in Denver.

For more information about ENGAGE or the School of Engineering, visit the related links.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.