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A New Approach To The Introduction To Engineering Technology Course At A Four Year College Of Engineering Technology

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.27.1 - 4.27.9



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Paper Authors

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Phylis Katz

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Howard A. Canistraro

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Ann Lankford

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Joan Dannenhoffer

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Janice Girouard

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

Session #3247

A New Approach to the Introduction to Technology Course at a Four Year College of Engineering Technology

Howard A. Canistraro, Phylis Katz, Janice Girouard, Ann Lankford, Joan Dannenhoffer The Ward College of Technology The University of Hartford


As part of a National Science Foundation Institution Wide Curriculum reform grant, several freshmen courses in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) from across the University of Hartford were completely revised with the specific goals of improving the students appreciation of SMET, improving the first year experience, and increasing student retention. Increased faculty participation was also a primary goal. Among these courses was ET111, Introduction to Engineering Technology, which is required of all freshmen students attending the Ward College of Technology. To address these issues the course was completely revised to include a team teaching format, expansion of subject topics to include student academic and social requirements, basic research skills in the form of a research project, demonstrations of scientific principles through “hands on” exercises, use of basic computer analysis techniques, and introduction to industry professionals through monthly seminars. The importance of teamwork was also a focal point of the course. A full presentation of the course outline, the results of several student surveys and a detailed review of several of the more unique aspects of the course will be presented. Overall the student response to the course was quite good and it significantly improved the dialog between the staff, faculty and students.

I. Introduction and Background

A current trend across the country in engineering and technology schools is to enhance the freshmen experience in hopes of improving student attitudes and retaining students beyond the first semester. Many others have produced successful course offerings that attempt to stimulate interest and appreciation of engineering and technology.1,2,3,4 Another important student skill, that is a critical asset both in education and in industry, is the ability to work as a team.5,6 In order to address these needs for Ward Students, and also incorporate the goals of an NSF Grant on Institution Wide Curriculum Reform (Grant #), the one credit course Introduction to Engineering Technology, which is required of all freshmen, was chosen for revision. The NSF Grant was specifically aimed at the improvement of freshmen attitudes towards science, math, engineering and technology, so ET 111 was the best choice for revision. In addition, the course needed to serve students from a wide range of programs including electronic, mechanical, architectural, computer and audio engineering technology, and needed to be flexible enough to attempt to meet all of their needs and interests. ET 111 originally covered the history of the City of Hartford and the University. It was later changed to include basic unit conversions and mathematics and was taught in a lecture format by a single professor.


Katz, P., & Canistraro, H. A., & Lankford, A., & Dannenhoffer, J., & Girouard, J. (1999, June), A New Approach To The Introduction To Engineering Technology Course At A Four Year College Of Engineering Technology Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. 10.18260/1-2--7855

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