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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
Following the successful implementation over a number of decades of a three-year Diploma in Electrical and Control Engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology, the programme entered a period of extreme difficulty and uncertainty in the late nineteen ninetees and early years of the new millennium. As with many such engineering programmes, student numbers seeking to enter began to diminish. Furthermore, engagement and retention of students who had enrolled on the programme became evermore challenging, necessitating some radical moves in the formation and operation of the programme and in putting additional student support mechanisms in place. The situation hit rock bottom between the 2000 and 2002 academic years when the programme appeared to be in terminal decline. Following a major effort by the programme committee in redefining the programme, and upon receiving a annual recurrent retention grant from the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, the declining situation was reversed and the new programme is now on a healthy footing. This paper will outline the steps taken in in achieving this goal. Whilst the situation has been reversed, there is little room for complacency and the difficult questions facing educators today continue to challenge.
Coyle, E., Murphy, M., Costelloe, F., Chan, C., Shoemaker, L.: Reinventing a Level 7 Programme in Electrical Engineering and Greatly Improving Upon Student Retention in Innovations 2007: World Innovations in Engineering Education and Research. Arlington, International Network for Engineering Education and Research, Special Volume, 2007.