Statewide coalition: Supporting underrepresented populations in precalcu-lus through organizational redesign toward engineering diversity (SC:SUPPORTED) results from year one

Eliza Gallagher, D. Andrew Brown, Christy Brown, Kristin Kelly Frady, Marketa Marcanikova, Sez Atamturktur, Stanley N. Ihekweazu, Michael A. Matthews, Robert J. Rabb, Richard H. Roberts, Ikhalfani Solan, Ronald W. Welch, Anand K. Gramopadhye

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


National data indicate that initial mathematics course placement in college is a strong predictor of persistence to degree in engineering[1, 2, 3, 4], with students placed in calculus persisting at nearly twice the rate of those placed below calculus [3]. Within the state of South Carolina, approximately 95% of engineering-intending students who initially place below calculus are from in-state. The "Statewide Coalition: Supporting Underrepresented Populations in Precalculus through Organizational Redesign Toward Engineering Diversity (SC:SUPPORTED)," a Design and Development Launch Pilot funded under the National Science Foundation INCLUDES program, is a coalition of secondary districts and post-secondary institutions throughout South Carolina, joining together to address the systemic issue of mathematical preparation for engineering-intending students. First year results include an analysis of system-wide data to identify prevalent educational pathways within the state, and the mathematical milestones along those pathways taken by engineering-intending students. Using individual data for all 21,656 first-year students in engineering-related fields enrolled in a public post-secondary institution in the state, we identified specific pathways with high rates of placement in or above calculus, pathways with balanced rates of placement in/below calculus, pathways with high rates of placement below calculus, and 'missing' pathways, defined as those which produce disproportionately few engineering-intending students [5]. For example, rates of placement in or above calculus among engineering majors ranged from below 17% in eight counties of origin to nearly 100% in four counties of origin. First-year results also included analysis of qualitative data from focus groups conducted at key points along each pathway category to identify factors that do not readily appear in institutional data (e.g., impact of guidance counselor recommendations in selection of last high school math course taken). Broad themes emerging from the focus groups provided additional insight into potential interventions at multiple points along educational pathways. Focus group data are contributing to the development of a survey to be administered in Year 2 to all post-secondary engineering majors statewide, with the goal of creating structural equation models of the factors leading to placement at or below the calculus level upon entry into an engineering major. These models will then allow us to design targeted interventions at points of maximal potential impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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