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The Development of a Pre-Engineering Program for First-Year Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Work in Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Philip A. Dunn Jr. P.E. University of Maine

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Philip Dunn is a Professor in the Construction Engineering Technology Program at the University of Maine. He has been with the University for 16 years after having worked 20 years with the Maine Department of Transportation. He is very active in his community serving in several professional, fraternal, and community boards. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maine. He is married with 2 children.

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The University of ____________has instituted a pre-engineering program for incoming first year students who aspire to enter the College of Engineering, but, for whatever reason, do not qualify for admission into engineering. The pre-engineering program has been created to give these students the opportunity to prove themselves academically to be successful as engineering students. This program has been offered for 5 years and has had both success and failure.

Students in the pre-engineering program are aligned to the Explorations program within the College of Liberal Arts. The Explorations program provides both remedial courses and counseling to students as they transition into the college experience. These pre-engineering students are encouraged to register in math and science courses appropriate to their desired fields of study. After the first semester, pre-engineering students apply through the Engineering Dean’s office to enter their respective programs of interest. Those who show potential are placed in the respective discipline as space is available. Students who continue to interest in engineering with poorer performance are retained in pre-engineering for at least another semester.

This paper will discuss the pre-engineering program and specifically the course GEE 103, the Introduction to Pre-Engineering. GEE 103 is managed through an Engineering faculty member who coordinates a variety of guest speakers and a series of on campus field trips. These speakers discuss topics ranging from study skills to Electrical Engineering. The field trips illustrate the implementation of engineering into innovative practices available at our university in research and production operations. The goal of providing these speakers and trips to the class is to provide students with resources and examples for success.

Additionally, the paper will present statistics that show student entry from the pre-engineering program into engineering programs and ultimate retention of these students in the College of Engineering. The statistics also illustrate the retention of the student into the university system regardless of interest in engineering. Some internal student surveys of pre-engineering student interests will also be discussed.

Dunn, P. A. (2019, June), The Development of a Pre-Engineering Program for First-Year Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33380

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