June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.749.1 - 14.749.17
Integrating a First-Year Engineering Program and a Living-Learning Community Introduction
Over the past three years, the College of Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) has been planning and developing an integrated combination of a first-year engineering program and a residential living-learning program. The synergy of the two is intended to build community and develop broader skills beyond those in a more traditional first-year engineering program.
The academic portion of this integrated program, Cornerstone Experience / Spartan Engineering, consists of two introductory courses. The first, EGR 100, Introduction to Engineering Design, provides a set of broad, team-based, hands-on design experiences and an introduction to topics common across all engineering disciplines. This course is required of all incoming engineering majors. The second course, EGR 102, Introduction to Engineering Modeling, introduces problem solving and mathematical modeling of engineering problems and systems. It is required of all majors except computer science and computer engineering. Much of the Cornerstone Experience / Spartan Engineering program has been developed from common themes contained within first-year courses previously offered by the six individual engineering departments and nine engineering degree programs.
For over 10 years, the MSU College of Engineering has been the lead college in an engineering and science residential program where students reside in a single residence hall. In addition to the inherent social and academic advantages, these students are also afforded the opportunity to enroll in reserved class sections, attend engineering seminars held in the residence hall, and obtain free tutoring in math and science courses.
Our new program, Residential Experience / Spartan Engineering, will transition that small-scale science and engineering residential program of approximately 150 students to a large-scale living-learning community program with a potential to accommodate more than 1000 undergraduate engineering students. It will also integrate with the Cornerstone Experience / Spartan Engineering program into a single facility.
Starting Fall semester 2009, approximately 400 of the 650 incoming freshman engineering students will be housed in a single residence hall containing the Cornerstone Experience / Spartan Engineering lecture auditorium, newly-constructed computer and project labs, and other program facilities. Our intent is to develop a living and learning environment that will assist students in thinking analytically and to succeed in the College of Engineering. This community is intended to bring another dimension to our common first-year curriculum and will further enhance student knowledge of the engineering profession, cultivate their problem solving skills, connect them with campus and community resources, and enhance their communication skills. Because students will live in the same residence hall community, it is hoped that an academically supportive peer group will enhance the overall experience.
Such integration does not come easily. A coordinated plan has been developed to join the Cornerstone Experience and the Residential Experience to address the challenges encountered by
Hinds, T., & Wolff, T., & Buch, N., & Idema, A., & Helman, C. (2009, June), Integrating A First Year Engineering Program With A Living Learning Community Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5622
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