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Effect of an Introductory Engineering Technology Foundations and Applications Course on Students' Performance

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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

ETD Freshmen Students

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Rex C. Kanu Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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REX KANU is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University Polytechnic Institute in Richmond, Indiana. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering, an S.M. in Management Science, and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science.

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Student graduation and retention rates are among the metrics that many academic institutions of higher education closely monitor because of their impact on the success of recruiting students and in some U.S. states, they can impact the level of state government funding of public academic institutions. For these reasons, many academic institutions explore innovative ways to improve their graduation and retention rates to levels as high as 95%, respectively. An example of an innovative and transformational approach to improving these metrics is presently taking place in a mid-western university, and the cornerstone of this approach are the development and implementation of engineering technology foundations and applications course for all incoming students. While this course uses active learning approaches and team projects, the scope of their contents distinguish them from similar courses that seek to achieve improved graduation and retention rates. For instance, in this course, soft skills such as technical writing, use of excel, developing an individual academic plan of study, cooperative education, internships, cultural diversity, quality, safety, and ethics are covered. Basic technical skills covered include math, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering technology. The rationale for this course is to expose students to these subjects and topics before they enroll in core engineering technology courses such as applied statics.

Assessment of learning outcomes:

While the authors plans to conduct this study for at least a four-year period, when the students presently taking the engineering technology foundation course would be graduating so as to compare their graduation and retention rates with those of former graduates, preliminary results presented in this study compare performance of students taking the engineering technology foundation and application course with those of their classmates who were not presently enrolled in this course but were enrolled in the same 100-level engineering technology course.

Kanu, R. C. (2017, June), Effect of an Introductory Engineering Technology Foundations and Applications Course on Students' Performance Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28202

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