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Building Alignment Between Pre-college and First-Year Engineering Programs

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

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Paper Authors


Noah Salzman Boise State University

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Noah Salzman is an Assistant Professor at Boise State University, where he is a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and IDoTeach, a pre-service STEM teacher preparation program. His work focuses on the transition from pre-college to university engineering programs, how exposure to engineering prior to matriculation affects the experiences of engineering students, and engineering in the K-12 classroom. He has worked as a high school science, mathematics, and engineering and technology teacher, as well as several years of electrical and mechanical engineering design experience as a practicing engineer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Swarthmore College, his Master's of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Doctorate in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011 and 2015. Dr. Ohland is Chair of the IEEE Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE, IEEE, and AAAS.

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Developments in pre-college engineering such as the incorporation of engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards and the rapid growth of formal and informal pre-college engineering programs and activities has resulted in increasing numbers of students arriving in first-year engineering programs with significant prior engineering experience. To assist first-year engineering faculty and staff with improving the alignment of their programs with their students’ pre-college engineering experiences, in the first part of this workshop we present a framework we developed to understand how pre-college engineering programs and activities influence students’ transitions into first-year engineering programs. Supported by both qualitative and quantitative data, we will describe ways that pre-college engineering activities can both support and hinder this transition. For the second part of this workshop, we will work with the participants to identify and share ways that they recognize elements of this framework in their own first-year engineering programs, brainstorm and share strategies for promoting successful transitions from pre-college to first-year engineering, and ways to differentiate instruction to address the wide range of pre-college engineering experiences represented in the first-year engineering classroom. This workshop presents a means for participants to begin a larger conversation related to understanding the impact of pre-college engineering participation on the first-year engineering experience, and ways that first-year engineering programs can adapt to address the changing conceptions of and experience with engineering of incoming students.

Salzman, N., & Ohland, M. W. (2017, August), Building Alignment Between Pre-college and First-Year Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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