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The effect of matriculation practices and first-year engineering courses on engineering major selection
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Brawner, X Chen, Matthew Ohland, M Orr
Sixty-one sophomores were interviewed at six large public institutions to learn why they chose their institution and their engineering major. The institutions were categorized as either requiring a first-year engineering (FYE) program or allowing students to matriculate directly into a major. At these institutions, the first-year experience either required a common introduction to engineering course, required introduction to engineering courses that were not common to all majors or included an optional introduction to engineering course. The impact of the matriculation mode on selection of the institution and the presence or absence of a required first year course are studied. We find that cost of attendance is far more important than matriculation mode for most students choosing their institutions. Required and optional first-year courses, when taken, do tend to help students either affirm their prior choice of major or select an engineering major that suits their interests.