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Utilizing an Institution’s QEP and Applying Career Development and Learning Principles into an Engineering FYE Course

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Student Success & Development - Focus on Academic Support

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Division - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Kristine K. Craven Tennessee Technological University

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Dr. Kris Craven is currently the Interim Chairman of the General and Basic Engineering (GBE) Department and a tenured Assistant Professor of the same department at Tennessee Tech University (TTU). I have been employed by TTU since 2000 primarily teaching in the Basic Engineering Program. I have also been teaching junior level courses for the Mechanical Engineering department for several years. In addition to ASEE, I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Sigma Xi, and Pi Tau Sigma.

One of my passions is freshman engineering students. I truly enjoy teaching and working with the first-year students. Another passion is outreach activities. I have participated in the starting and running of three different outreach programs that are working to increase the number of female engineering students by getting young girls interested while still attending primary school.

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Elizabeth L Hutchins Tennessee Tech University

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Elizabeth Hutchins is an academic advisor in the Department of Enrollment Management specializing in advisement for the College of Engineering. Additionally, she teaches a first-year experience course and several undergraduate engineering mechanics courses as an adjunct instructor in the College of Engineering. She earned her BS in biomedical engineering from Louisiana Tech University, her MS in biomedical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a graduate certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University.

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The first-year experience course is a program designed to help new students build the academic, social, and professional connections needed for a successful college experience at XYZ University. A key to a successful college experience is retention from Fall semester freshman year to Fall semester sophomore year. By providing a course such as this to entering freshman students, XYZ University is attempting to impact this retention rate. Unfortunately looking at these rates over the time period since the inception of the course, no pattern is observed and it is not clear if the course is reaching its intended potential. However, this one-credit hour course introduces students to many aspects of higher education and the engineering profession. Course sessions are geared toward enhancing students’ university experience and aiding in the transition from high school to university. This paper will review the why behind the different activities and discuss how they relate to student development and the course objectives and outcomes. The course under consideration in this paper is targeted at a variety of students in the College of Engineering that also includes Computer Science and Engineering Technology majors. The content focuses on psycho-social variables that are within the power of the individual student to control or change. Related to academic connections, course sessions provide insights into communication with professors, email etiquette, organization through time management, understanding the syllabus, exposure to study environments, and personal management skills. Campus engagement activities are also encouraged including attendance at college seminars and university programs and participation in relevant engineering professional societies in order to build both the social and professional connections. Phase 1 in career development is to understand one’s self. Activities in the course provide opportunities for personal exploration and the use of career planning tools. XYZ University is tasked with developing a Quality Enhancement Plan that is used across the university to enhance the student learning and overall collegiate experience. Currently, the QEP is exploring ways to use Guided Inquiry to achieve this purpose. For many years, several of the faculty have been using an activity called the Three Minute Engineer where students are required to give a three to five minute talk about an engineering topic. This exercise serves to connect the students to their discipline of study, to explore the human factor associated with engineering, and to have an informal introduction to public speaking. Our paper will help to better explain the reasons behind our chosen curriculum and provide examples others can easily adapt.

Craven, K. K., & Hutchins, E. L. (2017, August), Utilizing an Institution’s QEP and Applying Career Development and Learning Principles into an Engineering FYE Course Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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