Effects of Pre-College Engineering Participation on First-Year Engineering Outcomes

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Conference Proceeding

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With the increased acceptance and inclusion of engineering as an area of study at the K-12 and the proliferation of outreach activities intended to increase students' interest in pursuing degrees and careers in engineering, first-year engineering students are increasingly arriving in university engineering programs with significant prior exposure to engineering content and practices. In this study, using a combination of a survey and follow-up transcript analysis, we explored the relationship between students' participation in pre-college engineering activities and their academic performance in their first year of studying engineering at a large research university. We found no significant relationships between either the type of pre-college engineering activity or the level of participation and students' grades in their first-year engineering classes. We did identify several trends in the data that suggest other areas of study, as well as changes to the data we request from students regarding their pre-college experiences.