1887

Abstract

In 1993, the Foundation Coalition (FC) was formed to provide an innovative curriculum for freshman and sophomore engineering students in nine universities, including Texas A&M. FC themes include an integrated curriculum, active/cooperative learning, technology-enabled learning, and continuous improvement. For many years, FC was generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and produced numerous papers showing significant benefits, such as greater retention, improved academic performance, and more rapid graduation. Once NSF funding ended, Texas A&M institutional commitment to FC waned and the freshman engineering program fragmented into three tracks. Only Track C (chemical and petroleum engineering) continued the educational traditions established by FC. Because of transfers and changes of majors, not all students who enter the sophomore chemical engineering programs had Track C as freshman. This provides a unique opportunity to run “controlled studies” to determine the impact of FC principles on chemical engineering education. The data demonstrate that students who participated in Track C exhibited significantly better performance. For example, grades in the first chemical engineering course (mass and energy balances) increased by 0.45 grade points and the “recycle rate” for this course decreased by a factor of 2.6.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qproc.2015.elc2014.76
2015-08-29
2019-10-16
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