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First Year Engineering Curriculum At Youngstown State University

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Design in Freshman Year

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.610.1 - 9.610.11



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Paper Authors

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Hazel Pierson

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Daniel Suchora

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

Session 1353

First Year Engineering Curriculum at Youngstown State University

Hazel M. Pierson, Daniel H. Suchora

Youngstown State University


The first year engineering curriculum at Youngstown State University is a two-semester sequence of courses taken by qualified first year students of all engineering majors. This sequence was started about five years ago and has undergone yearly evaluation and fine-tuning as we try to get the best possible experience for our engineering freshman. This paper outlines the evolution to our current course make-up including the elements we feel are positive and beneficial to the program as well as those that did not facilitate the success of our program. It also specifies, in more detail, the current structure of the freshman engineering program at Youngstown State University.

Background Information

Prior to beginning the current freshman engineering program at Youngstown State University the engineering curriculum structure for the engineering freshman was typical of most engineering schools at the time, i.e. mostly courses in math, physics, chemistry, communications, and social studies. A survey of engineering course was required and it was a two quarter hour lecture course in a large auditorium with about 200 students. Each engineering program was responsible for about two weeks of the course and used the time to try to sell their particular program to the students. There were no prerequisites and no technical content, just a survey of the particular field of engineering with occasional speakers on other topics of interest. As the quarter went on student interest waned and to get the students to come to class and pay attention got to be a chore. Course assessment data and informal student interviews showed that this mode of introducing our freshmen to engineering had serious shortcomings.

The typical engineering freshman subjected to this exposure of courses was comparing the rigorous math and science courses being taken to this survey of engineering course and was not very favorably impressed with engineering. Many students who were originally interested in engineering lost interest and transferred to other fields; especially math, computer science, and chemistry here at YSU. Even more discouraging was that many of the students transferring were the top students who wanted what they viewed as a more challenging major. Approximately

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Pierson, H., & Suchora, D. (2004, June), First Year Engineering Curriculum At Youngstown State University Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14099

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015