Camping the way to higher retention rates

Steve Rippon, James Collofello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Freshman retention is a top priority in nearly all engineering schools. Increased retention optimizes new-student recruitment dollars, decreases students' time to graduation, impacts school rankings, and helps to meet industry's increasing demand for engineers. Most researchers and experts in the field agree on a number of basic tenants of retention. Topmost are the tenants of creating community amongst freshmen, bonding freshmen with returning students, creating opportunities for meaningful interaction between freshmen and faculty both in and outside of the classroom, helping freshmen understand and internalize the vision and mission of the school, and fostering students' understanding of how they can apply their academic experience both as undergraduates and after graduation. In the summer of 2008, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University(ASU) made a strategic decision to take deliberate action towards improving the undergraduate student experience by requiring all incoming freshmen to attend a three day/two night camp in the local mountains approximately one hundred miles from campus prior to the start of the fall semester. ASU's Engineering School designed E2 Camp to be the cornerstone of a new engineering freshmen experience. With the bold steps that the Engineering School is taking to impact the success of itsundergraduate students through a highly interactive curriculum, more experiential learning opportunities, problem-based learning, and opportunities to conduct high-level and impactful research-E2 Camp is a meaningful and successful way to welcome new freshmen to the engineering family and the dynamic experiences they will have asengineering students. This paper defines the rational for requiring E2 camp and the objectives of the camp. It also provides details on the logistics and cost of the camp. Finally the paper provides assessment data for the two years that the camp has been held.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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