Outcomes & Observations in the Transfer Success Co-Design in Engineering Disciplines (TranSCEnD) Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Rachel McCord Ellestad, David J. Keffer, Jennifer Retherford, Mary Kocak

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Transfer Success Co-Design in Engineering Disciplines (TranSCEnD) program was designed to assist in the transition of community college graduates to four-year undergraduate programs in the Tickle College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). Graduation rates among transfer students are lower than students entering four-year programs in year one, and the TranSCEnD program was deliberately designed to provide these students with academic, social and financial support. Three major components were included to improve cohort-building and thereby impact success. Students admitted to the program (1) engaged in a group summer bridge project, (2) completed a single-term success seminar, and (3) were provided a scholarship for continued informal engagement with the comprehensive TranSCEnD team throughout their years at UTK. The NSF-supported project has entered the fifth and final year of the program and the results of the effort show positive impacts on transfer student success. Students participating in the summer bridge program built lasting relationships with one or more individuals in the same cohort, improving their sense of belonging and community in their initial transition to UTK. The seminar series introduced students to resources on campus and best practices for academic success, and students in the program were well prepared for job fairs. Many engaged in internships and other professional practice activities, and generally engaged with the professional development resources provided on campus. Each year, with the addition of new cohorts, occasional informal meetings with all students in the program were well attended. The financial support provided by the scholarship typically reduced the financial burden in transitioning to a more expensive institution; coupled with introductions to undergraduate research and paid internships, most students were better funded through the program, leading towards improved retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2023.


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