June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.589.1 - 15.589.14
First-Year Engineering: A Comprehensive Approach
Over the past four years, the College of Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) has planned, developed, and implemented an integrated first-year engineering program and residential living-learning program. This single initiative of both curricular and co-curricular activities has given us a holistic approach to engaging and connecting with first-year engineering students.
The curricular piece of this integrated program, Cornerstone Engineering, consists of two introductory courses. The first provides a set of broad, team-based, hands-on design experiences as well as an introduction to topics common across all engineering disciplines. The second course introduces problem solving and mathematical modeling of engineering problems and systems. Much of the Cornerstone Engineering program has been developed from common themes contained within first-year courses previously offered by our six individual engineering departments and nine engineering degree programs.
These courses were piloted on a small scale during the 2007-08 academic year. They were then offered to all incoming first-year engineering students 2008-09. Following the two years of experience in delivering these courses, we were able to objectively examine course content as compared to course learning objectives and measured outcomes. This resulted in several modifications to both lecture content and delivery as well as to laboratory assignments as is detailed below.
Since 1993 the College of Engineering at MSU was actively involved with the Residential Option for Science and Engineering Students (ROSES) initiative. This was a residential living- learning program intended to provide a supportive and collegial environment for new freshmen intending to pursue majors and careers in technical fields. Starting in fall semester 2009, our new program, Engineering Residential Experience (ERE), transitioned that small-scale science and engineering residential program with approximately 150 students to a large-scale living- learning community program with a potential to accommodate more than 400 undergraduate engineering students. It also incorporated the Cornerstone Engineering program into a single facility.
We have developed a living and learning environment that assists students in thinking analytically and to succeed in the MSU College of Engineering. This community brings another dimension to our common first-year curriculum and further enhances student knowledge of the engineering profession, cultivates their problem solving skills, connects them with campus and community resources, and enhances their communication skills.
The development of the MSU Engineering Residential Experience includes much more than just the physical housing of first-year engineering students in a single residence hall. It also includes delivery of student service operations, including career services, freshman academic advising and peer-led tutoring sessions. Another aspect of our co-curricular program includes the
Hinds, T., & Wolff, T., & Idema, A., & Buch, N., & Davis-King, C. (2010, June), First Year Engineering: A Comprehensive Approach Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16567
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