Asee peer logo

Teaching Professional Development In The First Year Writing Course

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.424.1 - 1.424.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Bryan Pfaffenberger

author page

Susan Carlson-Skalak

author page

John P. O'Connell

author page

Timothy P. Scott

author page

Mark A. Shields

Download Paper |

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


Teaching Professional Development in the First-Year Writing Course

Bryan Pfaffenberger, Susan Carlson, John P. O'Connell, Timothy P. Scott, Mark A. Shields School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia

Abstract to ethical dilemmas are prized just as highly as problem-solving expertise. Engineering educators Two of the significant thrusts of reform in the first- are calling for curriculum reforms that will bring year engineering curriculum--creating enthusiasm industrial readiness to the fore. for engineering and preparing engineering students for the realities of a greatly altered context of In one important way, these two curricular reform professional practice--can be conceptualized as a efforts emphasize the same, underlying theme: challenge of fostering professional development. At Professional development. How can we inspire our the School of Engineering and Applied Science students to see engineering as a vital and satisfying (SEAS) at the Univ. of Virginia, a team of profession--and, at the same time, prepare them to concerned faculty has attempted to define the function effectively in the rapidly-changing context qualities of an engineering graduate well on the way of professional practice? to mature professional development, as well as the learning experiences that would foster these In this paper, we describe the definition of profes- qualities. This paper recounts an attempt to work sional development created by the Professional professional development into a first-year writing Development Committee (PDC) at the University of and speaking course designed for engineering Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied students. Science (SEAS), and recount our efforts to bring professional development to the fore in a first-year Introduction writing course, TCC 101. A course required of all incoming first-year students (save those with Throughout the US, engineering educators are ex- advanced placement credit), TCC 101 is taught by perimenting with the first-year E-school curriculum- faculty of SEA's Division of Technology, Culture, -and with good reason. With the population of engi- and Communication, a service unit that is housed neering freshmen declining more than 26 percent within SEAS and committed to supporting the between 1982 and 1994, attrition is a concern. How engineering curriculum. can the first-year curriculum do a better job of helping students cope with the engineering In the Fall of 1995, two sections of TCC 101 were curriculum successfully--and even more, create a paired with two sections of a core engineering sense of enthusiasm for careers in engineering? course ENGR 164, which focused on engineering problem solving. Among the objectives of this In addition, engineering graduates are finding them- pairing was to support the teaching of professional selves in a markedly different workplace, in which development through instructor coordination, so that cross-functional team communication, experience the same themes would be repeated by both working in small groups, and thoughtful approaches instructors.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Pfaffenberger, B., & Carlson-Skalak, S., & O'Connell, J. P., & Scott, T. P., & Shields, M. A. (1996, June), Teaching Professional Development In The First Year Writing Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6330

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: © 1996 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