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A Freshman Design Experience: Retention And Motivation

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.14.1 - 1.14.9



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Paper Authors

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Geraldine B. Milano

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Richard Parker

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George Pincus

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2553


Geraldine B. Milano, Richard Parker, George Pincus New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ 07102-1982


New Jersey Institute of Technology has seen an improved retention rate of freshman students in the past two years. Reasons for these positive changes include curriculum changes and incorporation of new teaching methodologies. Freshman students are more motivated to learn about engineering and to be successful in their studies. Involving the students in their learning process through enhanced active learning methods has resulted in improved interest and participation in their engineering education.

A change in curriculum has introduced a new course into the freshman year, Fundamentals of Engineering Design, FED 101. The course introduces the new engineering student at NJIT to the various engineering disciplines and the design process that engineers experience in industry. The course is taught by a team of professors representing the various traditional engineering departments who direct projects related to their areas of expertise. Freshman students work through these projects in teams of three or four with an emphasis on active learning. Students learn by doing and by researching topics relevant to their project.


New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of ten engineering schools who are partners in the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition (NSF Award EEC 9109853), supported in part by the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation for a period of 5 years starting in 1992. The Gateway partners are:

Cooper Union, NY Columbia University, NY Polytechnic University, NY New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJ Drexel University, PA University of Pennsylvania, PA Ohio State University, OH Case Western Reserve University, OH University of South Carolina, SC Florida International University, FL

During 1991, initial planning sessions of the ten Gateway Coalition partner schools identified Curriculum Innovation and Development (and design) as a principal area of interest to all partners. Thus, NJIT dated a hhzh mioritv on curricular innovations with s~ecial em~hasis on the freshman eru.zineerhw progr;m. This }ri~rity tias motivated by desires to alle~iate rete;tion problems identified “at man;

{hxi’ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings } ‘.,,,RR~’: .

Milano, G. B., & Parker, R., & Pincus, G. (1996, June), A Freshman Design Experience: Retention And Motivation Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6066

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