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Previews Of Coming Attractions – Employing The First Year Seminar To Prepare Engineering Freshmen For Success In College And Beyond

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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

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1022.1 - 11.1022.8



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Paper Authors


David Cottrell University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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DR. DAVID S. COTTRELL is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 and retired in 2000 after more than 22 years of service with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Studies at Texas A&M University resulted in an MS Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 and a PhD in 1995. He is a registered Professional Engineer and has taught courses in statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, graphic communications, engineering economy, and construction planning, scheduling, estimating, and management.

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Richard Ciocci Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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DR. RICHARD CIOCCI is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer and has a BS Degree, and MS Degree, and a PhD Degree from the University of Maryland.

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Jerry Shoup Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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DR. JERRY SHOUP is an Associate Professor in the School of Science and Engineering Technology at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. His degrees include BS Degree in Electrical Engineering, an MS Degree, and a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University. He is currently the Program Chair for the Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology Program.

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

Previews of Coming Attractions – Employing the First Year Seminar to Prepare Engineering Freshmen for Success in College and Beyond

Introduction This paper describes an innovative teaching strategy for freshmen engineering students enrolled in a First-Year Seminar, a course deliberately designed to ease the student’s transition from high school to college. At the Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg – the Capital College – the First Year Seminar is generally offered during a typical student's first fall semester and aims to facilitate the successful transition of new students to Penn State through their introduction to the use of university and campus resources. Although this course is a new offering at the Harrisburg Campus, the other half of Capital College, Pennsylvania State University at Schuylkill has been offering First Year Seminars for five years.1 The Penn State Harrisburg faculty members involved in teaching the initial seminars received training and assistance from their Schuylkill colleagues. Students are canvassed as to their intention for a major and then aligned with a corresponding section in the school of their choice. In terms of course goals, the First Year Seminar deliberately attempts to enhance the following:

• Student understanding of the cultural expectations of the Penn State community,

• Student information literacy skills though library and electronic research skills, by developing evaluate information sources critically, and their demonstrated electronic communication skills

• Student self -assessment and goal clarification abilities by attaining information about Penn State majors and academic programs

• Student skills needed to work collaboratively on both in-class and out- of-class assignments

• Student involvement in Penn State University activities and resources

This paper addresses the practical implementation of the First Year Seminar populated by students aligned with the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology. The course’s classroom instruction incorporated traditional individual and group activities to enhance planning and organizational skills, team functioning, and time management, and provides Penn State University first-year seminars provide links for students to learning, service, and virtual communities.2 The primary thrust of this article focuses on the inclusion of events outside the classroom. Specifically, this article addresses the use of (1) out-of-class University sponsored events including instruction of employment of computer and information systems and numerous seminars on a wide

Cottrell, D., & Ciocci, R., & Shoup, J. (2006, June), Previews Of Coming Attractions – Employing The First Year Seminar To Prepare Engineering Freshmen For Success In College And Beyond Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1323

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: © 2006 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