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Curriculum Makeover For An Introductory Agricultural And Biological Engineering Course

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.316.1 - 6.316.5

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Paper Authors

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James Leary

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The Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) undergraduate program at the University of Florida, like many engineering programs, has only offered upper-division classes for its students. That was true until the 2000 Fall Semester when the first lower division course for engineering students made its debut. Input from students, industry representatives and faculty, and documentation of other successful lower-division classes indicated the need to introduce ABE students to engineering coursework early in their academic careers. The benefits of early interaction with lower division students have also been discussed by Yokomoto, et al.1. While retention of ABE students is the primary driving force for this change, offering an introductory course in Agricultural and Biological Engineering has the additional potential of recruiting students who are undecided in selecting an engineering major. In addition to the learning process, a possible benefit to the students is the development of support networks that include ABE classmates, faculty and staff. Such networks, according to Hewitt and Seymour2, enable students to persist in their chosen major. Creation of a lower-division course had been the topic of discussion in the ABE Department for at least two years, but adding a course to an already filled, 128-credit program was not a viable option. The retirement of an ABE Department professor who taught the Introduction to Design and Analysis for Agricultural Engineers (ABE 3012) for several years, however, offered the unique opportunity to redesign this junior-level class into a freshman/sophomore-level course without adding any credits to the program.

Leary, J. (2001, June), Curriculum Makeover For An Introductory Agricultural And Biological Engineering Course Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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