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Transforming First Year College Experience Through A Unique Learning Community

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1319.1 - 9.1319.5



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Paper Authors

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Kathy Enger

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Sudhir Mehta

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

Session 1793

Transforming First Year College Experience Through A Unique Learning Community

Sudhir Mehta, Kathy Enger North Dakota State University


Education researchers, independent policy-making bodies, and several high level commissions on higher education recommend that colleges and universities need to strengthen the quality of their graduates in regards to leadership skills, problem-solving ability, communication skills, and citizenship.

This paper describes a unique learning community program that has been implemented from Fall 2003 to meet the above challenges. The Archibald Bush Foundation provided a three-year grant to partially fund the program. The freshmen program, within a caring environment, integrates development of leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills, and service learning. The program has a strong assessment component with most of the testing being done in April 2004. The presentation at the conference will describe this unique learning community program and the assessment results.


Education researchers, independent policy-making bodies and several high level commissions on higher education indicate that a large percentage of students (40-50%) drop out of college at a time when the importance of attaining a college degree has never been higher. For those students who do graduate, concerns are raised regarding their ability to write clearly, speak effectively, think logically, critically, and across disciplines, and to participate in a democratic society with civic responsibility1-11.


Faculty and staff in academic affairs and student affairs at NDSU will enhance the quality of student education and improve retention rate by building learning communities, implementing a practice-oriented curricula, and incorporating leadership and service learning into residential and classroom settings.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Enger, K., & Mehta, S. (2004, June), Transforming First Year College Experience Through A Unique Learning Community Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12823

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