Strategies to Improve Student Retention: A Case Study

When and Where

May 11 2017 10:30-11:30AM | ESB G111 (Engineering Learning Center)

Session Information

Come learn about how faculty and staff in the Fundamentals of Engineering Program have improved the retention of students within the Statler College. Over the last 4 years, the number of First-Time, Full-Time freshmen on probation after their first term has dropped from 19.1% to 10.2%, while the number of students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher has increased from 27.0% to 30.6%. Our faculty believe this is due to a combination of strengths across the entire teaching team. We will host this discussion-based session in the Engineering Learning Center (ESB G111).


Robin Hensel

Robin Hensel

Robin A. M. Hensel, Ed.D., is the Assistant Dean for Freshman Experience in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. While her doctorate is from WVU in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on higher education teaching of STEM fields (1988), she also holds B.S. (1981, Wheaton College, IL) and M.A. degrees (1983, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo) in Mathematics. Dr. Hensel has over seven years of experience working in engineering teams and in project management and administration as a Mathematician and Computer Systems Analyst for the U. S. Department of Energy (1983-1990) as well as over 25 years of experience teaching mathematics, statistics, computer science, and freshman engineering courses in higher education institutions (1990 – present).

Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Hensel has taught courses in Basic and College Algebra, Statistics, College Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Finite Math, Discrete Math, Computer Literacy, Intro to Databases, Management Information Systems, Applied Technology for the Classroom, Engineering Program Solving I, Engineering Problem Solving 2, and Engineering Math.  She has served two universities in administrative capacities, serving as Department Chair of the Natural Science and Math Department at Salem-Teikyo University (S-TU, now Salem International University), a Program Coordinator and Assistant Dean for Freshman Experience at WVU, and is currently serving, part-time, as an Academic Leadership Fellow in the WVU Office of the Provost. 

She has served as PI or Co-PI for STEM Education projects with over $3.6M in grant funding, resulting in many curricular changes, courses developed, and programs created.  Her work has been disseminated in 27 peer-reviewed publications, 20 invited presentations, 9 professional presentations, and several unpublished technical reports and curriculum materials.  She was awarded the ASEE First-year Programs Division (FPD) Distinguished Service Award (2015), an ASEE FPD 3rd place Best Paper Award (2008), a WVU Statler College Outstanding Advisor Award (2007-08), and the Salem-Teikyo University Joseph K. Bailey Teaching Excellence Award (1998).  She was nominated twice by the S-TU Student Association for the West Virginia Professor of the Year Award (1991-92 & 1994-95) and received several performance awards during her time at the U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown Energy Technology Center.

Currently, she leads a team of faculty who are dedicated to providing first year engineering students with a high-quality, challenging, and engaging educational experience with the necessary advising, mentoring, and academic support to facilitate their transition to university life and to prepare them for success in their engineering discipline majors and future careers.