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Exploring The Engineering Profession A Freshman Engineering 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

10.618.1 - 10.618.10



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Paper Authors

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Amir Karimi

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Dan Dimitriu

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

Exploring the Engineering Profession-A Freshman Engineering Course Dan G. Dimitriu, Amir Karimi College of Engineering The University of Texas at San Antonio


The engineering curricula for BS degree programs at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) were recently revised. The major objectives of these revisions were to improve the quality of the programs offered, increase student retention, and enhance the engineering student experience at the freshmen level. A common freshman course, “Exploring the Engineering Profession,” was introduced into each engineering program’s curriculum at UTSA. The course contains special features designed to enhance the educational quality at the freshmen level, improve student retention, and provide design experience. It is a first course in preparing students for future engineering practice. An assessment process is in place to evaluate the effectiveness in meeting course objectives. This paper will describe in detail the course content and present the assessment results.


It is widely known that engineers are essential to both the private and public sectors in order to maintain a strong economy, and that it is in the national interest to vigorously pursue the development of domestic science, technology, and engineering workers from all ethnic and gender groups. If the United States is determined to remain competitive in a global, technology- based economy, there has to be a concentrated effort to convince more students to prepare for careers in engineering and technology.

All engineering programs have trouble recruiting and retaining students in the engineering field. Large attrition rates are experienced during the freshman year largely due to the fact that students do not develop a strong affinity to the engineering profession. This situation calls for development of new introductory coursework that will help students develop long term motivation to pursue engineering careers. At the same time, students need to understand the effort required to learn the skills required to successfully complete an engineering degree and prepare them for successful careers in industry. The courses at the freshman-engineering level must contain special features designed to enhance the educational quality of the materials presented, improve student retention, develop ethics and problem-solving abilities, and provide early design experience that motivates students to study.

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an urban, state-supported university. The College of Engineering offers BS and MS degrees in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. It also offers Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and

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

Karimi, A., & Dimitriu, D. (2005, June), Exploring The Engineering Profession A Freshman Engineering Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14978

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