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Building A Successful Fundamentals Of Engineering For Honors Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Unique Courses & Services for Freshmen

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.271.1 - 9.271.14



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Paper Authors

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Audeen Fentiman

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John Demel

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Richard Freuler

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

Session 3453

Building a Successful Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors Program

John T. Demel, Richard J. Freuler, and Audeen W. Fentiman

The Ohio State University College of Engineering


In the early 1990s, Ohio State found that all incoming engineering students were being retained to graduation with a degree in engineering at a rate of about 38 percent. Honors students were being retained at approximately a 50 to 60 percent rate. In 1992, Ohio State joined with nine other engineering colleges to form the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition where one of the goals was to improve retention. Other goals were to develop modern curricula, to introduce technology into the classroom, to develop faculty to be better teachers, and to develop students to be better and life- long learners. The model for developing Ohio State’s lower division programs was Drexel University’s E4 program. This paper describes the development of the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors Program at Ohio State, the resulting increase in retention, the building of community, the effect on recruiting good students, and the support of industry.

1. Introduction

Over the past ten years, learning experiences for first year engineering students at Ohio State have evolved notably in a number of ways. Some of earliest of this evolutionary progress was partially documented1-4 in previous efforts. The present work provides both comprehensive and up-to-date description and details of the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors Program (FEH), in part by incorporating some highlights found in more recent companion papers5-8 into one work.

In response to a national concern in the early 1990s about poor retention of students in engineering combined with a real, or some would say critical, need for more engineers, Ohio State worked with nine other schools to form the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition. This need for engineers was and currently is driven by society's ever- increasing consumption of technology. The Coalition, led by Drexel University, was established as a result of the creation of an Engineering Education Coalitions program by the National Science Foundation. The Gateway schools agreed to adopt or adapt Drexel's E4 program9-12 for freshmen and sophomores which put engineering "up-front" and specifically included hands-on labs and incorporated design projects. Introducing design in the freshman year13-17 of engineering course work was a mark of change for a number of engineering programs in the last decade.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Fentiman, A., & Demel, J., & Freuler, R. (2004, June), Building A Successful Fundamentals Of Engineering For Honors Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13140

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