Characterizing and Modeling the Experience of Transfer Students in Engineering— Progress on NSF Award 0969474Quantitative analysis of MIDFIELD databaseOur analysis used records for 94,732 undergraduate students from the Multiple-InstitutionDatabase for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD). MIDFIELDcomprises a census of undergraduate students who attended 11 public institutions between 1988and 2008. MIDFIELD institutions represent public universities that educate large numbers ofengineering students.From the 977,950 records available, we restricted our sample to those who (1) were domesticstudents (927,350), (2) were in the data set early enough for us to observe the possibility ofgraduation within six years (677,691), and (3) declared a major in engineering or otherwiseexpressed the intent to study engineering in the fifth semester of their programs (94,732). Fortransfer students, we estimated placement using transfer hours, assuming that 15 credit hoursequals one semester; we also used the fifth semester as the reference point to capture mosttransfer students at the point of matriculation to ensure a valid comparison of transfers to non-transfers. This approach resulted in a sample of 21,542 transfer and 73,190 non-transferengineering students included in this analysis.Semi-structured interviewsCampus representatives at two MIDFIELD institutions sent an invitation to all engineeringstudents who had transferred into the institution in the two semesters preceding the semester ofthe interview. Interested students completed a survey to provide demographic and schedulinginformation. Participants were chosen from six engineering majors - civil, chemical, computer,electrical, industrial, and mechanical - and were diverse with respect to gender and ethnicity.Selected students were interviewed in Fall 2011 and in Spring 2012.We used a semi-structured interview protocol to learn more about student experiences with thetransfer process. We used a constant comparative coding method, whereby emerging conceptswere constantly compared to data that had already been coded.Overview of Progress Identifying and Describing the Entry Points into Engineering Transfer Pathways: A preliminary study relied on 52 of the 86 students who were interviewed across five campuses to understand their reasons for choosing engineering as a field of studies and the transfer pathway to enter the field. Studying the Motivations and Experiences of Older Transfer Students in Engineering: Of the 86 students who were interviewed on the five campuses, the 15 students who were 25 years of age or older at the time of the interview were selected for this study. Studying the Performance of Black transfer students: based on a logistic regression model refined to include transfer pathway (2-year vs. 4-year), we learned that: Studying the Mean Grade Differential by Course Discipline: For engineering transfer and first-time-in-college (FTIC) students, we computed average grades in STEM courses by discipline, and by institution.


ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015

Permanent URL: https://peer.asee.org/23685


Engineering Education, Modeling, Transfer students, Engineering education policy

Date of this Version


Published in:

Ohland, M. W., & Cosentino, C. M., & Brawner, C. E., & Mobley, C., & Long, R. A. (2015, June), Characterizing and Modeling the Experience of Transfer Students in Engineering—Progress on NSF Award 0969474 Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23685