|The First-Year Experience
Although most engineering programs are rigorous, not all of them provide
a good “learning” environment, especially for first-year
students. In addition to selecting an institution that has excellent
library facilities, top-notch laboratory equipment, a world-class faculty,
and solid advising, counseling, and tutoring services, many prospective
students are comparing how different engineering schools “teach” engineering.
Increasingly, instead of choosing traditional lecture-based programs,
they are selecting institutions with interactive programs and courses
like the College of Engineering’s first-year sequence, EG111
and 112. Based largely in the Engineering Learning Center, EG111 and
112 is a hands-on, interactive sequence that supports the premise that
the best “learning” is achieved through “doing.” The
courses are designed to help students begin to understand the nature
of engineering, develop and apply fundamental engineering skills, and
gain practical design experience.
Students are assigned two projects during each course which focus on
multidisciplinary systems, their behavior, and their interdependent parts.
They work in teams using engineering models to analyze, build, test,
and demonstrate their designs, while documenting their rationale and
design decisions. They function as engineers, which helps them become
independent thinkers who can creatively solve technical problems.