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DHC Third-Year Project Spring 2008. Shedding Light on Optics: Strategies to Increase Enrollment in Optical Science and Engineering. Christian Commander Huey Jiin Liu Colleen Phillips. Project Charge. Devise a long-term plan to promote OSE and increase enrollment. Project Objectives.

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dhc third year project spring 2008

DHC Third-Year ProjectSpring 2008

Shedding Light on Optics: Strategies to Increase Enrollment in Optical Science and Engineering

Christian Commander

Huey Jiin Liu

Colleen Phillips

project charge
Project Charge
  • Devise a long-term plan to promote OSE and increase enrollment
project objectives
Project Objectives
  • Develop an understanding of the enrollment difficulties
  • Develop and implement multiple surveys for relevant demographics
  • Use research to develop recommendations for methods to increase enrollment
  • Present findings and recommendations in a binder for future use
background information
Background Information
  • Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) major was created in 2001.
  • OSE encompasses the physical phenomena and technologies associated with the applications of light.
  • OSE prepares students to design, analyze, andfabricateeffective optical systems.
ose enrollment challenges
OSE: Enrollment Challenges

Enrollment Numbers for OSE for Fall ’01 to ’07

Source: Office of Resource Management and Planning <http://www.ormp.ucdavis.edu/inform/index_enrollment.html>

  • Identify what motivates students to choose their major
    • Use results to direct promotion and outreach ideas of OSE
  • Survey instruments:
    • University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES)
    • Student Affairs, Research & Information (SARI)
      • QuickSurvey

Question: Which of the following aspects influenced you to choose your major?

  • Target Group: Undergraduates (Upper Division) in UC Davis
  • Survey done via UCUES 2006.


    • Students want to be intellectually challenged.
    • Financial income is important to Engineering majors.


    • Have you heard of the Optical Science and Engineering Major?
  • Target group: Undergraduates in UC Davis
  • Survey done via QuickSurvey.
  • Inference:
    • Low enrollment numbers most likely due to lack of awareness of the major.


    • Are you interested in attending an information social hosted by the Optical Science and Engineering department?
  • Target group: Undergraduates in UC Davis
  • Survey done via QuickSurvey.
  • Inference:
    • Promotional events need to be brought to the students.
  • Outreach
  • Website
  • Internships
reaching out to freshmen
Reaching out to Freshmen
  • Welcome Week
  • Tabling at events/fairs at dorms
    • Resources:
      • Poster describing highlights of major
      • handouts with major info and link to website. Attach candy or voucher for free slice of pizza.
          • Trivia Wheel
          • Prizes
outreach to high school and community college students
Outreach to High School and Community College Students
  • Currently being done
    • Optics Club members
  • More Outreach
    • Target broader radius (not just Davis High)
    • Funding and support
      • Transportation
campus outreach
Campus Outreach
  • Open House
  • Career/Internship Fairs
  • Picnic Day
  • Teaming up with current events is the most effective method:
    • low intensity, cost and time
    • network with other groups to increase awareness
outreach mailing postcards to parents
Outreach: Mailing Postcards to Parents
  • Many OSE and other Engineering majors report that parental influence affected their major choice
  • Mail a postcard to all students on the Statement of Intent to Register list

Parental Influence on Students’ Major

Data obtained from UCUES 2006


Postcard Front

Postcard Back

ose website revisions
OSE Website Revisions
  • The OSE website is the primary resource for students to gain information on the major
  • These revision would make the website more informative and user-friendly:
      • Less “solid-text”
      • More Images
      • Separate Area for Parents
      • Profiles of Current and Past Students
      • Up-to-date Information
sample page for revised website
Sample Page for Revised Website
  • Aesthetics
  • Less Text per Page
  • More Graphics
  • Navigation
  • More Interactive
    • Images serve as Links
revamp the internship experience
Revamp the Internship Experience
  • Low satisfaction of students with current options
  • Work with faculty to increase internship opportunities
  • Increase awareness of opportunities
    • Updated binder in advising office
    • Updated list on the website
attractive features of ose
Attractive Features of OSE
  • Small major
  • Wide variety of career options
  • Lucrative salary for a recent graduate
  • Practical preparation for easy transition into a career
  • Low student to staff ratio enables better advising services
  • Carrie Devine, DHC Coordinator and Counselor
  • Dr. Ann Orel, DHC 3rd Year Seminar Instructor
  • Kate Elias, OSE Student Affairs Officer
  • Dr. Hector Baldis, OSE Faculty Advisor
  • Kathy Davis, Analyst, Student Affairs Research & Information
  • Dr. Yin Yeh, OSE Department Chair
  • DHC 3rd Year Seminar Peers


International Opportunities

Free Time

Second Choice Major



1)On slide #8:   you show UCUES data related to choice of major.  First of all, you should make it clear that only UPPER DIVISION students were asked these questions, and you should show the number of respondents in each group.  (For example, it should be clear that there were only 17 OSE respondents.) 

2) On slide #8 and slide #12:  freshmen did not answer those questions – they were only asked of upper division students.    I think you must have misunderstood the variable that indicates whether a student was a freshman entrant or a transfer student.  You should redo that bar to include ALL engineering students who responded.

3)On slide #6:  you mention survey monkey, but I don’t see where that data is used in the presentation.  Perhaps I overlooked it?

4)On slide #9:  QuickSurvey results look correct, but you should show the number of respondents as well as the percentage.

5)On slide #19:  you state the students are unsatisfied with internship options.  How do you know?  Do you have data to support that?  If so, you should show it.