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The Evolution of a First-Year Engineering Transfer Program: 1995 - 2010

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

FPD VI: Presenting "All the Best" of the First-Year Programs Division

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1457.1 - 22.1457.21



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Paper Authors


Shelley Lorimer Grant MacEwan University

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Dr. Shelley Lorimer, P.Eng. is the Chair of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Transfer Program (BSEN) at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. She teaches undergraduate courses in statics and dynamics, as well as courses in engineering professionalism. She is currently on a sabbatical leave with a provincial research organization called Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures in the oil sands and hydrocarbon recovery group doing reservoir simulation. She has a Ph.D. in numerical modeling from the University of Alberta, also in Edmonton.

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The Evolution of a First Year Engineering Transfer Program: 1995 - 2010There is a substantial amount of thought and insight that goes into the development and successof a one year engineering transfer program. As our program has grown from 25 students to over200 students in 15 years, there have been considerable “growing pains” associated with thisprocess. As a result, the program has evolved. This article speaks to the history and developmentof an one year engineering transfer program that prepares students to complete a Bachelor ofScience in Engineering (B.Sc.) degree at a university that is located in the same city. Ourinstitution, during this time has also evolved from a community college to a university, whichhas had a huge impact on the engineering program as well.The experience gained through this evolutionary period could be useful to other institutions thatare currently going through similar growth. There are many facets of our program (bootcamp)that have been incorporated into other engineering programs, and likewise our program hasadopted educational activities similar to other institutions. In all cases these changes were madeto enhance the engineering education of students and ultimately lead to the successfulcompletion of an engineering degree. The ultimate goal: the success of our students.This article will focus on many of the educational activities that have been developed over thelast fifteen years at our institution, and how we tried to measure their success. In some cases wehave continued and enhanced many of the activities, and in some cases we have discontinued ormodified them. These activities include a one week bootcamp, extra engineering tutorials,development of an engineering club to facilitate tours, engineering/math student assessmentexams, a Student Night as well as a variety of other additional activities that go towardsenhancing the student experience. All of these activities constitute what might be called the“engineering educational experience”, which is paramount to improving learning.In addition, there will be some discussion regarding the articulation process with our receivingtransfer institution. It is essential for the success of the program to develop a strong rapport, withconstant feedback regarding student achievement after transfer takes place. It is also essential tomaintain close relationships with faculty at the transfer institution regarding course curricula sothat the education of the students can have a strong sense of continuity after transfer takes place.It is extremely important to foster a cooperative rather than competitive relationship with thetransfer institution. The author will briefly discuss the forums used to achieve these goals.In summary, the purpose of this analysis is to provide a summary of the development of a oneyear transfer program in what was once a small community college. The synthesis and discussionof the evolutionary process can provide information which may enhance the engineeringeducational experience at other institutions. In the last several years, there has been a concertedeffort to increase the availability as well as improve the opportunities to educate engineers.

Lorimer, S. (2011, June), The Evolution of a First-Year Engineering Transfer Program: 1995 - 2010 Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18707

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