LEarning with Academic Partners (LEAP) success and growing pains in the first year

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2017 IEEE. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a program that has been shown to be successful in supporting students in historically challenging courses and improving grades, retention, and understanding of course material. SI was started at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) in 1973, but has since branched out to approximately 1500 institutions in 30 countries. In the spring of 2016, two faculty members from Michigan Technological University attended SI training at the International Center for SI at UMKC with the intention of developing a similar program to support the first-year engineering courses at Michigan Tech. The LEarning with Academic Partners (LEAP) program is the program that has developed as a result of that effort. While based on SI, the LEAP program has several distinct differences, which will be outlined in this paper. In Fall 2016, LEAP was implemented in three of fifteen sections (180 students, 9 Leaders) of ENG1101 - Engineering Analysis and Problem Solving, the first engineering course taken by calculus-ready students in all engineering majors. In Spring 2017, LEAP has been incorporated into three of fourteen sections (172 students, 9 Leaders) of ENG1102 - Engineering Modeling and Design and one section (61 students, 3 Leaders) of ENG1101. In this paper we will discuss the successes and failures of our first year with LEAP as we look to assess and expand the LEAP program to all sections of ENG1101 and ENG1102 (approximately 1100 students, 50 Leaders) beginning next academic year. We will share perspectives from students, LEAP Leaders, supervisors, and faculty.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE