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Project Based Freshman Introduction To Engineering Technology Course

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.464.1 - 3.464.5

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Paper Authors

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Frank J. Rubino

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

Session 3547

Project Based Freshman Introduction to Engineering Technology Course

Frank J. Rubino, PE Middlesex County College


All engineering technology students at Middlesex County College are required to take MCT– 101: Introduction to Technology, except Civil/Construction Engineering Technology students who take CIT-110: Introduction to Civil/Construction Engineering Technology. These courses have no prerequisites and requires students to work in teams of 3-4 on several projects over the fourteen weeks of the semester. Time is spent during the first week on team building skills and these skills are enhanced during the semester. During the semester, the students concentrate on a design project with a competitive and analytical component. All projects involve faculty and student assessment.

This paper guides the reader through the development of the course, its implementation and discusses the outcomes. Examples of the courses’ projects are presented along with the assessment tools. The course outline will be discussed to provide an overview of all material covered. The paper will also present interviews with both students who took the course and the faculty who taught the course.


In 1994 the Department of Mechanical–Civil/Construction Engineering Technology at Middlesex County College began a comprehensive review of all of its courses in the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Civil/Construction Engineering Technology programs. The intent of this review was to enhance both programs by improving the interaction among students as well as interaction between faculty and students. Classes in the past were typically conducted by the professor who expected the student to sit, listen, then go to the lab and perform a lab experiment that was designed to complement the lecture. Students were graded on their individual performance on exams, quizzes, homework and lab reports. Some attempts were made to get students to work in groups by assigning lab partners and asking them to submit a group lab report for which they would receive a group grade. However, the students were not evaluated on how well they worked as a team. All this was about to change.

The department faculty who teach the Civil/Construction Engineering Technology courses began a three-year project designed to develop and implement changes to all of the programs’ courses. They would use cooperative and activity based learning and embraces a just-in-time approach to the delivery of instruction in the related areas of writing, computer applications and use of a calculator (TI-85). The strategy was to include these learning techniques and delivery method starting in the first semester by introducing a new course; “Introduction to Civil/Construction Engineering Technology”. This new course was developed using a modular structure. In order to develop a module, the faculty first researched competencies related to the fundamental skills needed by an engineering technician. This was accomplished be reviewing industry standards,

Rubino, F. J. (1998, June), Project Based Freshman Introduction To Engineering Technology Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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