Asee peer logo

Industrial Experience And Engineering Freshmen: A Pilot Program

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.662.1 - 7.662.4



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Shelia Barnett

Download Paper |


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

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: © 2002 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