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Addressing The Freshmen Need For An Engineering Experience

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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

1.53.1 - 1.53.4



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Craig Gunn

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

Session 2653

Addressing the Freshmen Need for an Engineering Experience

Craig James Gunn Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract A plan was inaugurated three years ago to give incoming freshmen a chance to view the engineering program at Michigan State University well before their junior year. The course was taken because when students find a connection with their major early in their college careers, they stand a much better chance of actually graduating in that major. The Residential Option for Science and Engineering Students (ROSES) program provides students with not only close proximity to fellow engineers through centralized housing, but classes that group these students together in math, physics, and chemistry. The students are also required to enroll for a customized engineering course housed in the College of Engineering. This course addresses issues that are commonly experienced by most freshmen, but it also focuses on highly specialized topics involving engineering in particular. Topics range from introductory material on their chosen majors to ethics. It is also an important time in which to make clear the necessities of studying, time management, networking, and coping with the normally difficult engineering freshman’s course load. This beginning effort shows great promise in bringing freshmen into the departments of engineering much sooner than in the past. An overview of the ROSES program and specifically the required engineering course will be addressed.

Introduction Moving from life as a high school student into the arena of the university where there may be 6,000 other freshmen preparing for positions in the future may be traumatic and career threatening. Concern with the environment that is created for these students has become one of the most important topics of conversation among individuals and departments where the student really does have significance. It is vitally important that all schools of higher learning make an effort to create a smooth transition for students entering the new experience with education. It is even more important that departments realize that they cannot wait until a student completes a battery of pre-requisite courses leading toward those first engineering courses before connections are forged to bind the student and department together. This is especially critical at institutions where students are not formally brought into their majors until they have reached junior status.

With this concern in mind, Michigan State University through the Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture, and Natural Science began a process to make the transition from high school into the university a more valuable experience. The Residential Option for Science and Engineering Students (ROSES) was initiated three years ago to allow students to live together with other students who had more similarity than simply being freshmen. The need for creating long term personal networks for these students, immediate bonding with the many facets of the university, arid a concern for retention of interested engineering students were addressed. Students are accommodated in one of the university’s smallest housing units, which allows closer bonding of the group and also allows supervisors of the program to bring the individuals

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Gunn, C. (1996, June), Addressing The Freshmen Need For An Engineering Experience Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5880

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