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Teaching And Learning In Engineering Freshman Year

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.932.1 - 6.932.4

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Paper Authors

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Yi-Zun Wang

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Mohammad Saifi

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

Section 3286

Teaching and Learning in Engineering Freshman Year

Julie Y.-Z. Wang, Mohammad Saifi Potomac State College of West Virginia University Keyser, WV 26726


This paper describes the strategies and the methods that we have applied to the freshman engineering class at Potomac State College. The strategies for students to succeed the first year of engineering education include setting goals, having positive attitude, and teamwork. We have a variety of inside and outside classroom activities to maintain student interest. Creative thinking and logical reasoning methods are used throughout engineering problem solving and project designs. We have made progress in improving freshman year engineering education.


Potomac State College of West Virginia University has a two-year engineering program. The program is articulated with the four-year engineering program at West Virginia University. Most students will transfer to the university after they complete an associate degree in engineering. Although we have small classes, and students can get more attention and help from instructors, the retention problem still exists. Since there is no prerequisite for the first introduction course in engineering, students come to engineering class with different math levels and computer skills. Student learning and retention, particularly for the freshman year, are the priorities of our program. Our goal is to help freshman engineering students understand engineering profession, select their major, learn creative thinking and the engineering design process, prepare for the upper level courses, and enhance their engineering and computer skills. Our strategies and methods follow.


Setting Goals

We help students set one-year academic goals, four-year academic goals, and career goals along with the process of learning. Students realize that engineering is a challenge and a rewarding career; it is a lifetime learning process. In order to reach their goals, they should make a plan at each stage of learning. We have one-to-one meetings with students at registration time; we check their work, provide them information, identify the problems, and help them make a decision.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Wang, Y., & Saifi, M. (2001, June), Teaching And Learning In Engineering Freshman Year Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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