San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1302.1 - 25.1302.20
The Genesis of Transformation: A First Course in Engineering with a focus on Retention and Developing Professionalism Jesse J. French and Paul R. Leiffer School of Engineering and Engineering Technology LeTourneau University Longview, TX 75602, USA Students who fail to identify with engineering at the very beginning of their studies willoften become retention statistics. The second semester is already too late to introduce students toengineering activities, and the senior year is too late to introduce professionalism. A new “to bean engineer” class (a.k.a. Introduction to Engineering Practice I) has been implemented at ouruniversity. This new course, required for all first year engineering students, is intended to increaseretention in the engineering program by providing “iY Generation” students with a realistic viewof what “real” engineers do and what is expected of engineering students. The course engagesfirst semester engineering students with engineering flavored in-class activities and labs (e.g.wind generator design with wind tunnel testing) to provide a balance to the decidedly non-representative core courses (Calculus, Chemistry, English) that fill the first year of theengineering curriculum. Lesson modules lay the foundations for success in engineering education by providingstrong guidance in the area of study discipline, work quality expectations, classroom discipline(both behavioral and note taking techniques), and pride in the profession. Assignments work tojumpstart certain basic engineering science topics that are historically stumbling blocks duringthe second semester and for second year engineering students (e.g. statics, circuits, vectors, basicmechanics). This course begins the "Transformation to Professionalism" through introduction ofprofessional topics necessary for success outside the academic realm. Topics covered includecodes and standards, professional licensure, colleague and supervisorial relationships,professional societies, litigation and deposition, ethics, meeting behavior, conferences,exposition and professional meetings systems. Simultaneously, the course aims to establish alearning environment that better represents "the real working world" than might be seen in otherfirst-year classes. For some, this is their first introduction to the concept of adjusting oneself to astandard rather than expecting the environment to "part and make way" for the individual. Thisincludes more disciplined, more clearly defined, and perhaps more rigid expectations ofassignment due dates and times, while simultaneously providing the motivation and justificationfor the student to aspire to such standards. Results are presented both from instructor observations and from surveys conductedduring the first two years of implementation with results showing student interest level inengineering in general and specifically with the classroom and laboratory activities.
French, J. J., & Leiffer, P. R. (2012, June), The Genesis of Transformation: Preventing “Failure to Launch” Syndrome in Generation iY First-year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22059
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