The establishment of a program to act against dropout and retention rates on Biochemical Engineering

Authors

  • Geraldo Gabriel Araujo Silva Federal University of Rio Grande - FURG
  • Michele da Rosa Andrade Zimmermann de Souza Federal University of Rio Grande - FURG
  • Ana Priscila Centeno da Rosa Federal University of Rio Grande - FURG
  • Elisangela Martha Radmann Federal University of Rio Grande - FURG
  • Thaisa Duarte Santos Federal University of Rio Grande - FURG

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5216/ijaeedu.v4i2.48152

Keywords:

academic skills, freshmen, motivational speeches, testimonies, time management

Abstract

The highest rates of evasion and dropout on the Biochemical Engineering major at Federal University of Rio Grande are observed during the first semesters of the undergraduate degree, in which are offered the courses that compose the basic cycle of Engineering and are the foundation for the advanced courses. Literature confirms that entering the university can be a very stressful and life changing process, reinforcing the need of special institutional attention to the freshmen. As an alternative to fight this negative scenario and promote integration among the students, a series of activities were proposed through the Program of Incentive to Academic Activities of Biochemical Engineering Students (PAIEB), supported by the Institutional Program of Student Development (PDE-FURG). During the school year of 2016, PAIEB offered a series of testimonies of juniors and seniors about their experiences on college (primary action), in addition to motivational speeches, and time management workshops (secondary action). To evaluate the activities and identify punctual problems to take directed actions, opinion and reflection surveys were conducted to all students that participated in the program activities. It was found that difficulty on time management and demotivation were key problems among the freshmen. In addition, the evasion level in 2016 remained stable when compared to the 2015 level (about 17%) and decreased roughly 3% when compared to 2014, and the retention level within the freshmen year did not show significant decrease. Therefore, the answers to the surveys applied showed that the program is helping on freshman interest and motivation and helped identifying actual problems representing that PAIEB could be working, in this case, as a complementation the recurrent traditional learning and education. Moreover, data collected from the university database implied that the program needs to be amplified and intensified to help decreasing evasion and retention among the Biochemical Engineering students.  

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Published

29-03-2018