First-Year Experience
Learning and Doing
Education and Research
Through Students' Eyes

Students throughout the college have been weighing in about their experience in the engineering Learning Center. Some sit on the Engineering Learning Center Steering Committee and are involved in the planning of the new facilities. Some are peer mentors in the current center and help other students explore and experience engineering. And, some simply appreciate the resources the learning center provides.

The first experience Rebecca Camus, a sophomore in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, had with engineering at Notre Dame was through the Introduction to Engineering Program (IEP), a summer program for high school students. She had been considering chemistry or biology as a career, but the IEP gave her a glimpse of the options engineering offers and she applied to the University.

Camus was a member of the first full class of freshmen to participate in EG111 and 112. Last semester she was a learning center monitor, and this semester she is a peer mentor, working with EG112 students.

From a student perspective, Camus appreciates the learning center. “When you go to computer clusters around campus,” she says, “there is no place to spread out your project information and work, as an individual or with a group. The learning center gives you plenty of room to work, and different people in your group can be on different computers at the same time.”

Camus also likes the fact that the center is used by students throughout the College. “Seniors work there, but freshmen also feel free to go to the center, and there is usually a teaching assistant or a peer mentor there to help.”

On average Scott Turner, a junior in the Department of Electrical Engineering, is in the Engineering Learning Center four nights a week. Three of those nights he’s working on his own projects, but on Sunday night he’s serving as a peer mentor to other engineering students.

During his freshman year Turner was one of the 25 engineering students in the pilot sequence for EG111 and 112. He has worked as a peer mentor in the learning center ever since. He believes that the learning center is a wonderful resource for students at all levels. “I can go there and use a soldering iron, an oscilloscope, or any number of power tools,” he says. “There are so many resources available there, and it’s an easy environment in which to get together and work on group projects.”

Turner says the interaction he sees in the center among his fellow students is almost as exciting as what he sees happening among the freshmen he mentors as part of EG111 and 112. “The learning center gives them [the first-year students] hands-on opportunities to explore engineering and really get involved. It’s a great place.”
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