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Designing A Sequence Of Design Courses To Improve Student Performance And Retention At A Minority Institution

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.426.1 - 14.426.23

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Paper Authors

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Nhut Ho California State University, Northridge

author page

Robert Ryan California State University, Northridge

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

Designing a Sequence of Design Courses to Improve Student Performance and Retention at a Minority Institution


This paper describes the process of creating a sequence of design courses in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Northridge. The overarching goals of the course sequence are to address and improve student performance and retention challenges unique to minority institutions by using the Conceive-Design- Implement-Operate (CDIO) framework as the context for engineering education. This framework facilitated a systems engineering design process by benchmarking and formulating the skills, knowledge, and attitudes desired by stakeholders (industry, faculty, students) as requirements for the design, engaging freshman students early and continuously in the program with continuity in the courses and relaxation of prerequisites, establishing mutually supporting contents and proficiency in skill levels among the courses, integrating the teaching of personal and interpersonal skills into the design projects, using active and experiential learning techniques, and planning for the laboratory infrastructure to support the design projects. The outcome of the curriculum design process is a sequence of design courses that meets the requirements and provides the basis for spearheading an NSF-funded project to generalize the framework to include other minority institutions in California.

Ho, N., & Ryan, R. (2009, June), Designing A Sequence Of Design Courses To Improve Student Performance And Retention At A Minority Institution Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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