Authors: A. Dean Fontenot, Marion O. Hagler, John R. Chandler
Addresses: Box 43103, College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA. ' Box 43103, College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA. ' Box 43103, College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Abstract: In order to develop a pipeline of high achieving students into engineering, science, and maths, a partnership between secondary schools and higher education is pertinent. In addition, the challenges of engineering departments to recruit and retain students in their programmes have become a major focus and concern for faculty and administration. The College of Engineering at Texas Tech University (TTU) is providing high school students access to rigorous engineering courses through the Early Admission Engineering Program (EAEP). Through internet based delivery, EAEP high school students learn about an engineering discipline before enrolling in it. In addition, students participating in the EAEP enter the university with credit for at least one engineering course taught by a TTU faculty member. Because these EAEP courses are delivered on-line, students never have to set foot on the Texas Tech campus but can remain in their own high school or home environment. This approach benefits the students, the department, the college and Texas Tech University. The EAEP programme builds an infrastructure for cooperation between the high school teacher and the university faculty member. At the same time, high school students take on the role of high school/university students. By mentoring the student, the high school teacher becomes a learning partner, continuing his or her own education and learning while developing first hand understanding of the rigorous coursework students meet when they enrol in engineering. By providing the teachers access to university faculty, high school teachers are able to provide their insight into the constraints in teaching at the high school level to university faculty. In turn, university faculty can provide valuable teaching tools to the high school teacher. The Texas Tech University EAEP taps into the experts in content and in on-line course development at the high school and the university level in order to develop rigorous and effective engineering courses. By collaborating with other disciplines and institutions, educators can build on the expertise of professionals and on the experience of other educators to form solid curricula for students who study highly rigorous fields of study like engineering.
Keywords: bridging the gap; distance education; dual credit; early college access; high school engineering classes; K-12; mentoring; partnerships; recruiting; retention; teacher training.
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2003 Vol.13 No.5/6, pp.483 - 488
Published online: 11 Mar 2004 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article