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The Total Learning Environment Of Our Freshman Engineering Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1176.1 - 8.1176.8



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Paper Authors

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Ronald Musiak

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

Session 2793

ASEE Abstract The Total Learning Environment of our Freshman Engineering Students

Ronald Musiak, Steven Schreiner, Mary Vollaro, Bart Lipkens, Eric Haffner, Richard Grabiec Western New England College, Springfield Massachusetts

In building our freshman-engineering curriculum we have come to appreciate the importance of and are continuously searching for ways to enhance the living and learning environment that helps our students succeed in their first year of college life. The elements that make up our efforts to facilitate learning are: learning communities where like- minded students live and study together, proactive advising/mentoring where we discuss with each student their academic progress and career goals on a regular basis rather than waiting for the student to come to us for advice, workshops dealing with campus living issues, real career mentoring, and a technologically enhanced living and learning environment.

The learning community concept was introduced on our campus two years ago. The idea is to have students with similar academic interests and classes (including class schedules) to be near each other in the dormitories so that they would have the opportunity to form study groups, be a support group for each other, and develop a sense of community which is especially helpful for Freshman in acclimating to their first year at college. We have expanded our Freshman student advising activities to include career advising and networking (every student is matched with an alumni advisor) proactive advising (each academic advisor is the student’s instructor in the Introduction to Engineering class and receives progress reports from all other non-engineering instructors), and multiple one-on-one progress interviews with the students (the advisor gets to know the students better so that potential problems are identified early and remedied) . Additionally, we are experimenting with a flexible technologically enhanced classroom that combines the features of a standard classroom environment with a computer laboratory, multimedia environment to expand our teaching capabilities without increasing the need for additional classroom or laboratory space.

This paper presents our experiences in making the learning environment richer and more supportive for our students and providing them with the means they need to succeed in their studies as they adjust to college life and advance their career goals.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Musiak, R. (2003, June), The Total Learning Environment Of Our Freshman Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11708

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