Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.1008.1 - 6.1008.11
THE FRESHMAN SEMINAR: ASSISTING THE FRESHMAN ENGINEERING STUDENT’S TRANSITION FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Abstract — The transition from high school to college can be very difficult for many students. This adjustment involves three major areas of concern: Academic Transitions, Family Transitions, and Personal Transitions. At the University of Pittsburgh, we have a system of courses and academic counseling that is designed to address theses issues and help the student in this transition. One major component is a series of mentoring courses that the entering student can select for the first semester. These courses are designed to help the freshman make this major transition. This paper will discuss the purpose of the mentors, the ENGR0081 Seminar Course concept, the mentor selection process, and the topics covered in the mentoring sessions. Introduction Numerous studies document the importance of interaction with the freshman students during their first semester [1 - 9]. This concept is nothing new, as reflected in the fact that most colleges have an orientation program for entering students. One component we use at the University of Pittsburgh is getting the involvement of parents and other family members in the processes and transitions. This component includes an orientation program that includes the following:
1. Raising the level of awareness of parents and first-year undergraduate students relative to changes involved in moving to a campus environment and relative to the services offered by the university to help adjust to these changes. 2. Expanding parents’ and new students’ knowledge through discussion and materials regarding changes in status, residence, failure, relationships, and authority. 3. Helping parents and students develop a positive attitude toward their first year at the university.
We use this component to help students become aware of the changes that are taking place in their lives. We then make a transition in the student's immediate family structure by introducing professional counselors and advisors that explain the new university policies and procedures to the students, and act as the parent figure. However, it is also important to involve peer mentors in the process and offer student success tips as well as survival tips that are used at the University of Pittsburgh.
This paper is designed to give a brief overview of another important component of our first year experience: peer mentoring. We use existing upper class students in this component to discuss Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Budny, D. (2001, June), The Freshman Seminar: Assisting The Freshman Engineering Student's Transition From High School To College Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9294
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