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Building the Whole Engineer: An Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular First-Year Experience

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

FPD 5: Transitions and Student Success, Part I

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

23.262.1 - 23.262.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19276

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

biography

S. Patrick Walton Michigan State University

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S. Patrick Walton received his B.ChE. from Georgia Tech, where he began his biomedical research career in the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. He then attended MIT where he earned his M.S. and Sc.D. while working jointly with researchers at the Shriners Burns Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MIT, he was awarded a Shell Foundation Fellowship and was an NIH Biotechnology Predoctoral Trainee. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the Stanford University Genome Technology Center, receiving an NIH Kirschstein post-doctoral fellowship. He joined Michigan State University in 2004 and his research is focused on the development of parallel analytical methods and the engineering of active nucleic acids (e.g., siRNAs) through mechanism-based design. He has been recognized for his accomplishments in both teaching and research, receiving the MSU Teacher-Scholar award, the College of Engineering Withrow Teaching Excellence Award, and being named an MSU Lilly Teaching Fellow.

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Daina Briedis Michigan State University

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Daina Briedis is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University and Assistant Dean for Student Advancement and Program Assessment in the College of Engineering. Dr. Briedis has been involved in several areas of education research including student retention, curriculum redesign, and the use of technology in the classroom. She is a co-PI on two NSF grants in the areas of integration of computation in engineering curricula and in developing comprehensive strategies to retain early engineering students. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering accreditation and is a Fellow of ABET and of the AIChE.

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Mark Urban-Lurain Michigan State University

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Dr. Urban-Lurain is responsible for teaching, research and curriculum development, with emphasis on engineering education and, more broadly, STEM education.
His research interests are in theories of cognition, how these theories inform the design of instruction, how we might best design instructional technology within those frameworks, and how the research and development of instructional technologies can inform our theories of cognition. He is also interested in preparing future STEM faculty for teaching, incorporating instructional technology as part of instructional design, and STEM education improvement and reform.

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Timothy J Hinds Michigan State University

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Timothy J. Hinds is the Academic Director of the Michigan State University College of Engineering CoRe (Cornerstone & Residential) Experience program and a Senior Academic Specialist in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Undergraduate Studies. His current responsibilities include teaching and administering first-year courses in engineering design and modeling. He has also taught courses in machine design, manufacturing processes, mechanics, computational tools and international product design as well as graduate-level courses in engineering innovation and technology management. He has 30 years of combined academic and industrial management experience. He received his BSME and MSME degrees from Michigan Technological University.

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Carmellia Davis-King Michigan State University

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Carmellia V. Davis-King is the Co-Curricular Director of the Engineering Residential Experience Program at Michigan State University College of Engineering. She works directly with engineering faculty in the College as well as the greater engineering community in Michigan to deliver cutting edge programs for undergraduate students. Carmellia also provides leadership to the residential professional staff and student leaders through the creation of innovative learning opportunities. She created the first ever Living and Learning Summit for Michigan Colleges and Universities in an effort to create a platform for shared best practices for student affairs practitioners. She was recently elected as a university representative for the Academic Specialist Advisory Committee. As the Co-Curricular Director she is responsible for the recruitment and retention of student participants. She earned a Masters of Education degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University.

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Thomas F. Wolff P.E. Michigan State University

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Dr. Thomas F. Wolff is Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University. In this capacity, he is responsible for all activities related to student services (academic administration, first year programs, advising, career planning, women and diversity programs, etc.) and curricular issues. He is principal investigator on several NSF grants related to retention of engineering students. As a faculty member in civil engineering, his teaching portfolio includes courses in geotechnical engineering, probabilistic methods, and a large introductory course in civil engineering. His research and consulting activities have focused on the safety and reliability of hydraulic structures, and he has participated as an expert in three different capacities regarding reviews of levee performance in Hurricane Katrina. He is a three-time recipient of his college’s Withrow Award for Teaching Excellence, a recipient of the Chi Epsilon Regional Teaching Award, and a recipient of the U.S. Army Commander’s Award medal for Public Service. In 2010, he was elected to the National Council of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society, and presently serves as National Vice-President of that organization.

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Abstract

Building the Whole Engineer: An Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular First-Year ExperienceRetention of engineering students is a nation-wide concern that will affect the strength of thefuture engineering workforce and the position of the United States as the dominant world playerin engineering and technology. Increasing the number of undergraduate engineers can beaccomplished by recruitment, retention, or a combination of both.At , our College of Engineering has developed a uniqueapproach to building a supporting environment in which academic, co-curricular, support, andsocial activities are intertwined to support the development of first-year engineering students intoyoung engineering professionals. Instructors, peers, advisors, staff, and faculty all play a role indeveloping the “whole engineer.”Academic and co-curricular activities are centered around a single residence hall that houses theincoming first year students in the program and returning engineering undergraduate peermentors on each floor. The residence hall also contains the classrooms and laboratories for thecommon courses, Introduction to Engineering Design and Introduction to Engineering Modeling.Also located in the residence hall are walk-in academic advising, targeted tutoring for math,physics and chemistry, evening programs on engineering topics and career opportunities. As partof the program's focus on supporting the whole student, there are also social programs andvolunteer service opportunities. To ensure that students understand the importance ofengineering in the real world, corporate sponsors provide additional programming focused onengineering grand challenges of the 21st century.In Spring, 2012, we surveyed all students who were enrolled in engineering majors (> 3000), and831 responded. Of those, 208 (25%) had participated in the residential program with all havingbeen part of the academic program. The survey was intended to capture students’ attitudes andexperiences with regard to our first-year program. Focusing on the portion of the survey thataddressed students’ connection to the college and discipline, students felt that our first-yearexperience (percentage strongly agree/agree): i) was a factor in my decision to attend MSU’sCollege of Engineering (37%); ii) made me more committed to engineering as a major (60%);iii) enabled me to connect with non-engineering students living in the residence hall (60%); iv)helped me feel more a part of the College of Engineering than if I would have lived in anotherresidence hall (70%); and v) was the best living situation for the student (82%).We also asked about their experiences with programmatic aspects of the first-year experience.Respondents were very positive or positive about these programs (number of responses; percentvery positive/positive): i) in-house tutoring (274; 95%); ii) academic advising (452; 85%); iii)evening programs (279; 92%); and iv) a faculty mentoring program (268; 85%). In the full paper,we will report on additional survey data, including open-ended responses, in greater detail.We feel these data demonstrate our efforts to support the whole engineer are succeeding inpreparing students for their academic careers and for being successful 21st century engineers.

Walton, S. P., & Briedis, D., & Urban-Lurain, M., & Hinds, T. J., & Davis-King, C., & Wolff, T. F. (2013, June), Building the Whole Engineer: An Integrated Academic and Co-Curricular First-Year Experience Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19276

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