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Making Early Positive Impact on Freshmen through Engineering Technology Seminars

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Student Recruitment and Retention in ET Programs and Labs in ET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Maher M Murad University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

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Dr. Maher Murad is an associate professor in the Civil Engineering Technology department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Dr. Murad served as a visiting professor at Bucknell University. He also has overseas teaching and professional experience. He worked as a technical manager at Modern Contracting and as a highway project manager at Acer Freeman Fox International. He is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in the state of Ohio. Dr. Murad received a Masters degree in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of Toledo.

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Freshmen admitted to the engineering technology (ET) program at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) are required to take a noncredit ET seminar. Freshmen meet weekly for one hour with an ET senior instructor. The seminar instructor implements a variety of activities throughout the semester aimed at positively influencing the attitudes and habits of freshmen in order to better prepare them for the demands of the ET program as well as their own lives. The activities allow students to self-examine themselves and have a better feel for what it takes to succeed in the ET program and in life in general.

To better understand the influence of the seminar on freshmen students, a survey at the end of semester asked the freshmen class to recall the lessons learned from the ET seminar about “themselves,” “succeeding in the ET program,” and “life in general.” Numerous freshmen students have emphasized the significant influence this ET seminar had on their attitudes, habits, and other aspects of their lives. The ET seminar weekly activities and the results of the survey are summarized and presented. The paper provides ideas for engineering technology programs looking for ways to have significant early positive impact on their freshmen students that lasts beyond their college years.

Murad, M. M. (2016, June), Making Early Positive Impact on Freshmen through Engineering Technology Seminars Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25662

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