June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1272.1 - 11.1272.9
The Development of a Mechanical Engineering Freshman Program Introduction
Many of the top engineering schools in the country conduct a freshman engineering program. These programs provide the opportunity to integrate students very early into the culture of their respective engineering disciplines. The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) has not conducted a freshman program, mainly due to the university- wide junior admission-to-major criteria. However, in the past year, the department has identified the need for such a program and has made a commitment to its development. This paper addresses the development of the MSU Mechanical Engineering Freshman Program.
In developing the MSU Mechanical Engineering (ME) Freshman Program, a task force was assembled that included the two principal instructors and the associate chair for undergraduate programs of the department. The instructors selected for the task force were those deemed most well suited to the development, implementation and delivery of freshman-level courses due to their experience at that level and their expertise with the computer tools identified for the new courses. One of the first tasks of this group was to develop a set of goals and objectives for the program. A draft set of goals and objectives were developed and distributed to the faculty for comment. Following feedback from the faculty, the goals below were formalized:
1. Introduce students to the mechanical engineering discipline and profession.
2. Demonstrate how basic mathematics and science fits into engineering practice.
3. Introduce students to the engineering design problem solving method in a rigorous fashion.
4. Teach students to use computer applications such as NX®, MATLAB®, and Excel®.
5. Help students develop their communication, study, organizational, and teaming skills.
6. Prepare students for and begin their integration into the culture of the mechanical engineering program.
Developing the Program Structure
With the preliminary set of goals developed, the task force then turned its attention to the structure of the program. One constraint was to preserve the number of courses and credits currently in the MSU ME program. It was decided to investigate possible major modification and ultimate replacement of the two current introductory computer tool courses, Engineering Graphic Communications (ME 180) and Technical Computing and Problem Solving (CSE 131), for the new freshman program. ME 180 is a 3 credit course taught in a one hour lecture and two 2-hour lab periods per week format. It focuses on the teaching of NX® as a mechanical design
Hinds, T., & Somerton, C., & Chalou, R., & Radcliffe, C., & Griffore, G. (2006, June), The Development Of A Mechanical Engineering Freshman Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--930
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