Journal Title

7th First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference

Publication Date



This paper reports on challenges identified and best practices developed through advising at-risk first-year engineering students, synthesizing both existing literature as well as the experiences of advisors and faculty members in the School of Engineering. Based on conversations with and feedback from firstyear students, it has become clear that at-risk students face unique challenges that can affect their persistence in engineering. These challenges include: the high school to college transition, the difficulty of high-achievers experiencing failure for the first time, the competitive culture of engineering, learning how to take ownership of the college experience, and pressure in high-stakes courses. With these challenges in mind, the School of Engineering has adopted a number of best practices that are targeted specifically at supporting at-risk first-year students. These best practices include: group advising, holistic advising, growth mindset strategies, flow charts, student socials, and student assessment.

Author Supplied Keywords

Advising, At-risk first-year engineering students, Retention, Best practices


Counseling in higher education; Engineering students

Publication Information

7th First Year Engineering Experience (FYEE) Conference, 2015, 1-10.

© 2015 The Authors

Archived version is the final published version.



Document Type

Conference Paper

Included in

Engineering Commons