STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Increasing Enrollment and Retention in the College of Engineering Using a Multi-Disciplinary Motorsports Theme (NSF 0856716)

We are using an engaging theme to capture the attention of high schoolers and engage Freshmen engineers.

The goal of this educational research project is to recruit, engage, and retain undergraduate engineering students at UNC Charlotte with the aid of the university’s excellent working relationship with most (if not all) of the NASCAR race teams. To increase student recruitment, a multi-disciplinary (i.e. mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering) motorsports theme is used to engage potential students during multiple recruitment and outreach efforts throughout the year via outreach/recruitment events on campus to reach out to gifted high school students during the school year and a week-long Motorsports Engineering Summer Camp during the summer months. To increase retention, the investigators have been collaborating with the engineering faculty who teach the second semester introductory engineering courses in efforts to introduce “hands-on” learning experiences and “big picture” engineering perspectives. Also, this project is supporting a successful peer coaching and supplemental instruction (SI) program to keep current engineering students engaged and provide them resources that they need to stay motivated and be academically successful. The overarching goal of this program is to increase the number of students receiving a BS in engineering by 16 students per year through extensive recruitment and retention efforts.

Lead Author

  • Peter Tkacik

Institution Information

  • Name: University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • State: NC

Poster Information

  • ID: CI-006
  • Disciplinary Focus: Engineering
  • Award Number: 0856716