Pathways to engineering: Mathematics as a mediator of engineering success

Sandra B Nite, James Morgan, Mary M Capraro, Robert M Capraro, Cheryl Ann Peterson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The path to success in engineering is through mathematics. In particular, students need to successfully complete an engineering calculus sequence of at least four courses to fulfill their requirements for an engineering degree. With the goal of increasing success in Engineering Calculus I, and consequently retaining engineering majors, the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, established a summer program to bridge high school mathematics knowledge to requisite mathematics knowledge for Engineering Calculus I. Of the students who participated in the summer program, 81% raised their scores on the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE) sufficiently to be cleared to register for Engineering Calculus in the fall. Students who did not raise their score above 21 out of 33, whether or not they participated in the summer program, had to take Precalculus before enrolling in Engineering Calculus I. Because Precalculus is primarily taken as remedial preparation for Engineering Calculus I, the purpose of the course is to strengthen mathematics skills needed for the calculus course. As a result of participating in the summer bridge program, students were able to begin the engineering curriculum sooner, saving both time and money for their college education. The program continues to be expanded to provide support for more students throughout the engineering calculus sequence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFIE 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOpening Doors to Innovation and Internationalization in Engineering Education
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: FIE 2014 - Melia Castilla Hotel & Convention Center, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 22 Oct 201425 Oct 2014 (Conference website) (Conference proceedings)


Conference44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Abbreviated titleOpening Doors to Innovation and Internationalization in Engineering Education
Internet address


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