Asee peer logo

Allowing Freshman Engineering Students to Encounter Multiple Disciplines: Discipline Oriented Labs in the First Semester Engineering Curriculum

Download Paper |


2020 First-Year Engineering Experience


East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Benjamin D McPheron Anderson University

visit author page

Benjamin D. McPheron is Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences & Engineering and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Anderson University. Dr. McPheron received his B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering at Ohio Northern University in 2010, and his Ph.D, in Electrical Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University in 2014. Dr. McPheron teaches Freshman Engineering and various courses in Electrical Engineering including Circuit Theory, Electronics, Controls, and Mechatronics. His research interests include Engineering Education, Control Systems, Mechatronics, and Signal Processing.

visit author page

author page

Willis Troy Anderson University

author page

Caroline Baker Anderson University

Download Paper |


Anderson University is a small liberal arts university established in the Church of God movement, located in Anderson, Indiana. The engineering program started in 2013, and now has ABET accredited majors in Mechanical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering. The first semester engineering course has undergone several changes since the program’s inception, and has evolved into three corequisite courses, accompanied by a 2-hour recitation section.

The first semester engineering curriculum consists of a 1-hour lecture course (ENGR 2001), a 2-hour ME lab course (ENGR 2002), and a 2-hour ECE lab course (ENGR 2003). Providing these two lab courses allows students to gain basic understanding of the engineering disciplines offered by the university and affords them tools for exploration of their practice. While lab courses of this sort are not entirely unique to the Anderson University first semester engineering program, some of the mechanisms and course structure differ from other programs. Students also meet for a two-hour recitation section in the evenings, which allows them to get tutoring for Calculus and Chemistry, as well as engage in engineering group projects with their cohort.

The current formulation of the first semester courses has been offered for two consecutive years. This work presents the course content with an emphasis on lab instruction, course learning outcomes, and assessment results for the first two years, along with lessons learned.

McPheron, B. D., & Troy, W., & Baker, C. (2020, July), Allowing Freshman Engineering Students to Encounter Multiple Disciplines: Discipline Oriented Labs in the First Semester Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015