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Work in Progress: The Construction of a New First-Year Engineering Program

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Tuesday 5-Minute Work-in-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


George D. Ricco University of Kentucky

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George D. Ricco is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Kentucky. He focuses his work between teaching in the first-year engineering program at UK and research in student progression. Previously, he was the KEEN Program Coordinator at Gonzaga University in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He completed his doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education. Previously, he received an M.S. in earth and planetary sciences studying geospatial imaging, and an M.S. in physics studying high-pressure, high-temperature FT-IR spectroscopy in heavy water, both from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds a B.S.E. in engineering physics with a concentration in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. His academic interests include longitudinal analysis, visualization, semantics, team formation, gender issues, existential phenomenology, and lagomorph physiology.

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Janet K. Lumpp University of Kentucky

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This paper describes the first steps in building a new first-year engineering (FYE) program at the University of Kentucky. We start from the beginning, with a brief history of the program, and move into the construction of it as it exists today. We then describe a few of the notable design features of the program: the selection of the core team members; course design philosophy; interfacing with “higher ups”; expanding into satellite campuses; managing flexibility among individual student sections; and reaching out to departments both within and outside of the college of engineering. These topics will be addressed using an ethnographic framework, as well as first-hand descriptions by individuals within the FYE program.

We feel there are two items in particular that are of significant interest to the greater community. First there are unique problems – logistically and otherwise – that come to rise when the program is expanded into satellite campuses. How to address these issues is of fundamental importance to any emergent FYE program. Also, the nature of flexibility among instructors is a topic frequently ignored by FYE programs and not significantly addressed in the literature – a topic among our program colloquially referred to as “going rogue.” Within our program, we allow significant deviation to incorporate individual teaching styles while still requiring a core set of exercises to be accomplished by every course section.

Ricco, G. D., & Lumpp, J. K. (2017, June), Work in Progress: The Construction of a New First-Year Engineering Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29180

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