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Nuclear Engineering Freshman Student Initiatives—Lessons From Nc State University

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Topics in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Nuclear and Radiological

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.965.1 - 11.965.6



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Paper Authors


Lisa Marshall North Carolina State University

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In Fall 2001, Marshall became the Director of Outreach Programs for the Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University. Her research interests lie in enrollment management and engineering education. She is a ‘geography of science’ doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Before joining NC State University, she worked in enrolment management for several years at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

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Mohamed Bourham North Carolina State University

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Bourham joined the Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University in 1987. He is presently the Undergraduate Administrator. As full professor, his research interests include plasma-matter interactions, from interaction with solids to liquids to energetic combustible materials to fabrics and microorganisms. He also is an associate faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering with research focusing on medical imaging.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Nuclear Engineering Freshman Student Initiatives: Lessons from North Carolina State University

Dr. Mohamed Bourham and Mrs. Lisa Marshall Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University

Abstract Enrollment increases in nuclear engineering programs prompts the need to revisit retention mechanisms to ensure students successfully graduate and learning institutions satisfy the demand for nuclear engineering graduates. How do we improve declaration of major prior to the completion of first year and how do we improve matriculation into the discipline? There needs to be a warm hand over from the recruitment-admission process to departmental retention initiatives.1 This paper will highlight best practices from NC State’s Nuclear Engineering Department. It is a combination of academic and non-academic practices that builds disciplinary affinity. Discussion will revolve around such topics as freshman student advising, early intervention, professional development and freshman research projects.

Keywords Nuclear engineering; freshman retention; undergraduate retention


National enrollment in nuclear engineering programs has increased significantly—from 625 students in 2000 to 1500 students in 2004.2 NC State’s Nuclear Engineering program has followed this trend—from a total of 37 undergraduate students in 2000 to 133 students in 2005. Of particular interest in this development have been unmatriculated freshman students. How do we encourage matriculation into nuclear engineering from a common first-year engineering program? What academic and non-academic programs need to be in place to foster an environment of learning, leadership and service in the discipline? Overall, what best practices can be shared to continue, what is being called in the industry, a nuclear renaissance? This paper examines undergraduate freshman initiatives to meet these goals.3

Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2006, American Society for Engineering Education

Marshall, L., & Bourham, M. (2006, June), Nuclear Engineering Freshman Student Initiatives—Lessons From Nc State University Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1077

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