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Effects Of A Freshman Engineering Design Experience On Student Performance In A Sophomore Circuits Course

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.515.1 - 10.515.7



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Paper Authors

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Eugene Perry Deess

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Judy Valyo

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Kamal Joshi

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Vladimir Briller

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Raymond Calluori

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John Carpinelli

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

Session XXXX

Effects of a Freshman Engineering Design Experience on Student Performance in a Sophomore Circuits Course

John D. Carpinelli, Vladimir Briller, Judy Ann Valyo, E. Perry Deess, Raymond Calluori, and Kamal Joshi New Jersey Institute of Technology


With support from the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) incorporated a freshman design experience into all of its undergraduate engineering degree programs. This design experience is taken by all first-time, full-time freshmen. The design experience has helped NJIT increase student performance and rates of on- time progression to the sophomore year. This paper examines the effects of the freshman design experience on student performance in an introductory sophomore circuits course taken by students majoring in either electrical or computer engineering. Students who took the freshman design experience performed significantly better in the circuits course than those who did not. Students who took the electrical and computer engineering module in the freshman design experience performed slightly better in the circuits course than students who took a different module.

1. Introduction

Since the early- to mid-1990’s, incorporating a design experience into the freshman year of engineering curricula has become a popular way to increase retention and graduation rates. The primary motivation has been to expose students to engineering at the beginning of their undergraduate studies, typically using open-ended design problems suited to first-year engineering students. Such an early introduction serves as an important first step in incorporating design work throughout the undergraduate curriculum, and provides an early introduction to teamwork, presentation skills, and time management. The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) developed its first freshman engineering design course in 1992, and has continued to offer this course to first-time full-time freshmen in all engineering curricula. The format has undergone several revisions, but the concept of open- ended design has remained at the core. Studies have shown that the freshman engineering design courses have resulted in increased retention and 6-year graduation rates [1], thus meeting a primary objective of the courses. Materials developed for these courses from several disciplines

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Deess, E. P., & Valyo, J., & Joshi, K., & Briller, V., & Calluori, R., & Carpinelli, J. (2005, June), Effects Of A Freshman Engineering Design Experience On Student Performance In A Sophomore Circuits Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15265

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