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"Student In The University": A Format For Retaining Students In Engineering Technology

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.2.1 - 5.2.7



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Paper Authors

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Mark R. Rajai

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Keith V. Johnson

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

Session 93

“Student in the University”: A Format for Retaining Students in Engineering Technology

Keith V. Johnson, Mark Rajai East Tennessee State University


Student in the university is a freshman orientation course in the Department of Engineering Technology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that was developed during the summer of 1994. The course initially was an elective course that became very popular with our freshman students. Because of its popularity, it became a required course for all freshmen with less than thirty credit hours. The focus of the course was and is to foster relationships with students and faculty, help students verify their decision to choose engineering technology or help them at least make informed decisions centered on choosing a major. The course uses a variety of teaching strategies and innovative approaches of instructions to attract and retain students in the field. This manuscript details many of the approaches that are used in the course that has been proven successful. Due to the versatile content of this course, we believe other programs with similar orientation courses could benefit from our experience.

I. Introduction

The fields of engineering and engineering technology both reported declines in the fall of 1993.1 In view of these startling statistics, it is extremely vital that innovative techniques are implemented, and current programs revamped in order to retain those students who are enrolling in engineering and engineering technology.

Faculty and staff in the Department of Engineering Technology at ETSU are trying to do just that. During the fall of 1994, the department offered a freshmen orientation course. The goals of this course were to: 1) provide students with a department mentor, 2) engage students in activities that will better introduce them to the university and the technology department, 3) include activities that will allow students to socialize with one another, and the departmental faculty/staff outside of the classroom, 4) encourage creatitivity, and 5) improve freshman retention.

Academic counseling and advising should not be limited to assisting students in class scheduling, but include being accessible and assisting in any way that will contribute to their

Rajai, M. R., & Johnson, K. V. (2000, June), "Student In The University": A Format For Retaining Students In Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8716

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