June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.509.1 - 3.509.6
STARTING OFF RIGHT: CAREER PLANNING & ACADEMIC ADVISING IN AN INTRODUCTORY ENGINEERING COURSE
LIB CROCKETT, ACADEMIC ADVISOR GENERAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM CLEMSON UNIVERSITY CLEMSON, SC
Clemson University’s General Engineering Program introduced several new career planning elements into its first-semester introductory engineering course in order to help students make an informed choice regarding their major and ultimately their career path. By using the Strong Interest Inventory and career- related databases, students were better able to link their interests to appropriate choices of majors. Students who left engineering did so sooner and were able to move into other areas of the university thereby increasing overall retention. Students who remained were more confident in their decisions and were retained for the right reasons.
The General Engineering Program (GE) was established in 1986. The staff consists of three faculty members, two full time professional advisors and one office manager to meet the needs of 1100 students. Advising issues are divided among academics, personal decision making and career selection. The freshman year for engineering students is very structured. Students are required to complete two English composition courses, two calculus courses, two general chemistry courses, one physics course, one humanities/social science course and two introductory engineering courses. After completion of these courses with minimum grades of “C”, students select a specific engineering major. Each fall approximately 750 new freshmen enroll in the General Engineering Program. (The other 350 consist of students who have not completed the GE curriculum.)
Visits to the GE Office are voluntary; students are not required to meet with advisors. (The only exceptions are students on academic probation who must meet twice during the semester with advisors.) Students are not assigned to a particular advisor but may request a specific individual should they so desire.
The transition from high school to college is difficult. For freshmen in engineering it can be especially traumatic. In addition to the usual adjustments of roommates, lack of parental supervision, and a totally new environment, engineering students must meet a more demanding academic schedule than their contemporaries. Most freshmen come to college totally unaware of the time and effort required to earn an engineering degree.
Should every student who enters as an engineering major remain an engineering major? Of
Crockett, L. (1998, June), Starting Off Right: Career Planning & Academic Advising In An Introductory Engineering Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7423
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