Work in Progress: Retention of Freshmen Computer and Electronics Engineering Students

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Retaining freshman students within a challenging engineering program can often be a considerable challenge for an institution and its faculty. At the University of Nebraska's Peter Kiewit Institute, in Omaha Nebraska, the number of students who either withdraw or fail the first semester freshmen Computer and Electronics Engineering (CEEN) fundamentals course has historically been about 30%. For the Fall 2005 semester the department decided to implement a multi-faceted retention effort to try to reduce this number. The measures implemented were: 1) an off-campus overnight retreat prior to the start of classes, 2) assignment of students to small learning groups called "pods" which were led by upper class students, 3) hiring a graduate student as a counseling assistant (CA), and 4) implementing immediate feedback from the course instructor to the counseling assistant while identifying students who needed guidance. This paper describes the efforts and preliminary retention results


Published in Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education's 36th Annual Conference