June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.662.1 - 7.662.4
Increasingly, industrial experience before graduation is highly desirable for successful placement of engineering graduates in permanent engineering positions. However, the number of participants in the traditional cooperative education program at Mercer University has declined in recent years. In order to encourage a higher degree of participation, the Mercer University School of Engineering, in collaboration with the Career Services Office at Mercer University, has recently implemented a pilot program, the Initial Freshman Experience program. The program objectives were outlined to benefit both Mercer University students and employers. The following objectives were developed: to improve student learning inside and outside the classroom, to prepare students for the journey of lifelong learning, to increase the number of students with practical engineering experience prior to graduation, to strengthen relationships between Mercer University and employers who hire Mercer University students and graduates, and to provide enthusiastic and high-quality graduates for our employers. In its first year, there has been significant participation in this program at Mercer University. Anecdotal evidence from student participants suggests that they enjoyed the experience and were eager to continue in the cooperative education program. Evidence from the employer evaluations indicates employers were satisfied with the students’ work performance. Mercer University’s School of Engineering retention rates of students from freshman to sophomore are significantly higher than in the past. It is too early to determine at this time if the Initial Freshman Experience program has been a factor in this improvement in retention. However, studies will be conducted to determine the long-term effect.
Barnett, S. (2002, June), Industrial Experience And Engineering Freshmen: A Pilot Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10124
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