June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.43.1 - 13.43.14
A Fr eshman Engineer ing Cur r iculum for a Bachelor of Science in Engineer ing Pr ogr am
Abstract In 2002 a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Engineering was initiated at a regional university. Three freshman engineering courses were developed to allow incoming students immediate contact with both the engineering program and faculty. Students take Engineering Seminar during their first semester. The seminar is designed to expose students to engineering as a career, the various engineering specialties and details about the curriculum. The students also get to meet the faculty (and some upper class students) both during weekly presentations and during the annual picnic. The two other freshmen courses, Introduction to Engineering and Introduction to Design Introduction to Engineering introduces students to a systematic, engineering problem solving method. Problems have been selected to preview many of the engineering courses that the students will take as sophomores, including statics and circuits. Additionally students learn computer applications EXCEL, MATLAB and VISUAL BASIC. Finally, Introduction to Design, taken during their second semester, has been developed to include two parallel paths. The first path focuses on learning how to solve open-ended design projects while working in teams. These projects vary from semester to semester, but normally consist of a mechanical focus, a civil focus, and an electrical engineering focus which exposes students to the three areas of concentration that they must decide upon in their sophomore year. Also, a reverse engineering project is conducted early in the semester. The second parallel path in the Introduction to Design helps student develop skills in engineering communications that they apply in their design projects for this course as well as for future engineering design courses. Engineering communications include engineering graphics, technical writing, and oral presentations. Software that students learn in this course includes AutoCAD, Solid Edge, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Project. Designing this new curriculum gave faculty and administrators very unique opportunities. This paper will focus on the details and characteristics of the first-year curriculum, including recent curricular changes and student learning outcomes.
The University of Southern Indiana (USI) started civil, electrical and mechanical engineering technology programs in 1975. These programs were accredited in 1980, and had helped to serve the needs of the region for over twenty years. However, due to changes in states professional licensing requirements, ABET requirements, and the changing needs of the regional employers, it became clear that a bachelor of science in engineering at a public university was needed. An internal study was done in May 2000, which recommended phasing out the three engineering technology degree programs (electrical, civil, and mechanical) and starting an engineering program1. In May 2002 the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved degree-granting authority for USI to offer the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree. The University
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