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Recruitment, Two-Year College, Academic Integration, Social Integration
The need for educating engineers in the United States continues as the projected demand is still rising as the number of high school seniors planning to enter engineering careers has remained relatively stable (Sargent, 2014). Additionally, figures show that attrition rates in undergraduate engineering continue to be an area of concern, (Sargent, 2014; Gibbons, 2005; NSF, 2004). Given the projected increased demand for engineers, the engineering education community must explore a variety of pathways for engineering students to be successful.
Organizations such as National Science Foundation (Laanan, Jackson, Darrow, 2010) have noted that beginning engineering study at a two-year campus and then transferring to an engineering bachelor’s degree-granting institution is an important path and source for additional engineering students. Although some have explored the logistical issues and curricular design components of two-year campuses that enables engineering students to complete their bachelor degrees elsewhere, there is very little that explores the non-curricular factors on these campuses that help such students successfully progress (Laanan, et al., 2010). Using Tinto’s theory of integration (1975, 1993), this study examines the relationship between student entry characteristics and measures of social and academic integration to engineering learning outcomes. Understanding how integration factors on two-year campuses impact engineering student success can be used to inform the design of curricular and campus-based experiences that support the success of engineering students on two-year campuses. Results indicate the social and academic integration factors significantly predict engineering students’ learning outcomes, especially their commitment to engineering studies.