Title

Best Practices in Advising Engineering Technology Students for Retention and Persistence to Graduation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2020

Description

According to the ASEE publication Engineering by the Numbers, student retention and persistence to graduation are ongoing problems for engineering and engineering technology (ET) programs around the country. It is a well-established fact that the quality of interaction between a student and a concerned individual on campus, often through academic advising, is a key contributor to college retention. Over the years, academic advisors have developed effective advising strategies that research shows have positively impacted students' retention and their persistence to graduation. In this study, a national survey was conducted among academic advisors of ET programs in the USA. Results show that for ET students, retention and persistence to graduation are improved by personalized and caring advising, being proactive, keeping students focused on their plan of study, actively listening to students' complaints and concerns, acting on those concerns, and believing in the student. On the other hand, being passive, ignoring students' issues, embarrassing them on their academic struggles and limited knowledge about the curriculum and departmental procedures and practices are found to be the least effective. Overall, this study contributes to ET body of knowledge by providing ET academic advisors a set of best practices for student success. The findings of the study will also benefit ET faculty members, who directly or indirectly advise students, by sharpening their advising practices.

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