Asee peer logo

The Freshman Seminar: Assisting The Freshman Engineering Student's Transition From High School To College

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1008.1 - 6.1008.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Dan Budny

Download Paper |

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

Session: 2793




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. 10.18260/1-2--9294

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: © 2001 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