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Case Study: The Farming Subdivision as a Concept to Change Non-engineering Majors' Perception of Engineering

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Outreach, recruiting, and retention

Tagged Division

Biological & Agricultural

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Paper Authors


Tim Foutz P.E. University of Georgia

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Dr. Foutz is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Engineering at the University of Georgia. He was the inaugural director of the First-Year Odyssey program, classes designed to introduce freshmen to the academic life of the University. Dr. Foutz has received federal funding to integrate humanities and social science topics into his course materials. For over 28 years, he has taught fundamental engineering courses as well as advanced design courses.

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Studies have shown that high school students select a college major based on her/his prior knowledge of a career associated with that knowledge. Studies also indicate that high school teachers and counselors who help guide students toward a college major have a limited view of the engineering profession and often only guide students who are “good in math and science” toward an engineering major. After exposing the student to advanced engineering application coursework (i.e.. college courses), her/his understanding of the wide-range of careers that engineers expands, and her/his interest in an engineering profession increases. This paper will discuss the use of the concept behind a “farming subdivision” as a mean to change first-year first-semester college students’ perception of engineering. The paper discusses if the farming subdivision theme helped first-year first-semester non-engineering majors understand that engineering is a liberal education, not one that is solely a mathematics and science education. This investigation was conducted during the fall semester of 2016.

Foutz, T. (2017, June), Case Study: The Farming Subdivision as a Concept to Change Non-engineering Majors' Perception of Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28018

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