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An Academic Residential Program For Engineering And Technology Students

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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

1.57.1 - 1.57.6



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Paper Authors

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Richard L. Marcellus

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Jr., John Felver

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Joy Pauschke

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

1 .4. — Session 3553 .

— An Academic Residential Program for Engineering and Technology Students

Joy Pauschke, John Felver, Jr., Richard Marcellus Northern Illinois University


Recent studies have illustrated the importance of activities beyond the classroom to enhance undergraduate student retention. For example, three out-of-classroom activities which can help students succeed during the freshman year are informal contact with faculty, participation in study groups, and involvement in 1-5 campus activities. The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University recognized the need to improve the freshman year experience to facilitate student retention. As a part of the College’s on-going assessment activities, the College initiated in Fall 1992 a pilot academic residential program open to all College majors (electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and technology). This residential program is a structured, co-operative effort between the College and Northern’s Office of Student Housing Services (OSHS) to facilitate the above out-of-classroom activities. The program facilitates-faculty-student and student-student interactions and offers scheduled, academic-related activities. This paper describes the goals of the College’s academic residential program, faculty and student participation, program requirements and activities, student evaluations, and program impact on student retention.


Two factors provided impetus for the College to offer an academic residential program. First, the College wanted to offer engineering and technology students attending a large public university the academic and social opportunities afforded by a “small college atmosphere. ” Northern is a comprehensive public university serving approximately 16,000 undergraduate students and 8,000 graduate students. The College has 960 undergraduate students and 180 graduate students. At large universities such as Northern, an engineering or technology student may be the only such major on his/her residence hall floor, making it difficult to form study groups at the residence hall or to readily benefit from upperclass mentors. In addition, the required freshman courses in mathematics, science, and general education are often large lecture classes attended by different majors across campus, making it difficult for freshmen to identify and develop a cohesive, focused study group with other students of similar majors and academic goals.

Second, because eight other academic units outside the College were already operating successful academic residential programs in co-operation with the OSHS, model programs and mechanisms for program initiation were readily available. Other academic residential programs currently offered at Northern include business, computer science, foreign languages, health professions, hearing impaired interest, honors, music, and political science.


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Marcellus, R. L., & Felver, J. J., & Pauschke, J. (1996, June), An Academic Residential Program For Engineering And Technology Students Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5876

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