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Forging New Links: Integrating The Freshman Engineering Curriculum

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.506.1 - 6.506.9



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Paper Authors

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Ronald E. Musiak

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Richard A. Grabiec

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Eric W. Haffner

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Steve Schreiner

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Alan K. Karplus

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Mary Vollaro

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The School of Engineering at Western New England College is redesigning its traditional core curriculum to provide Freshman engineering students with a more integrated and challenging educational experience. We began this evolutionary process by creating two new courses for the Fall 2000 semester – a new four credit hour course called Introduction to Engineering and a one credit hour Engineering Seminar. The content of the new Introduction to Engineering course focused on learning the engineering design process and some of the tools (such as graphics, CAD, and various computer packages) needed to support that design process. This course was designed with a significant portion of its content devoted to hands on exposure to engineering design. The students experienced the entire design process twice during the Fall semester using RoboLab by LEGO-DACTA as a platform to solve engineering problems. In the one credit hour Engineering Seminar, students learned strategies needed to be a successful engineering student (such as time management, test taking strategies, and oral and written communication skills) and were acquainted with various aspects of the engineering profession through trips to local industry and seminars given by practicing engineers. The Introduction to Engineering course was broken into four identical sections, each with fewer than 25 students enrolled. The faculty member teaching the section also served as the academic advisor for the students, allowing the faculty members to better advise students on their academic and professional pursuits. Faculty coordination and cooperation were cornerstones to the successful delivery of course materials. The new courses and curriculum structure were a success because the freshmen were able to demonstrate an understanding and ability to use the design process to solve engineering design problems.

Musiak, R. E., & Grabiec, R. A., & Haffner, E. W., & Schreiner, S., & Karplus, A. K., & Vollaro, M. (2001, June), Forging New Links: Integrating The Freshman Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9282

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