Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2007 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2007 Annual Conference and Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007


The Engineering Fundamentals Division of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) at Old Dominion University administers a freshman engineering course sequence, along with four engineering departments (Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering) and the Department of Engineering Technology (which offers degrees in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology). The two course sequence, Exploring Engineering and Technology I and II, involve the five departments in teaching at least one five week module in each of the two courses. Each department generally involves the students in a basic design project related to its discipline. The freshman course sequence has provided an excellent opportunity for the BCET to interact with first year engineering students to address the issues related to student retention and allows the division to provide student guidance in determining the appropriate major that best satisfies their individual needs in choosing a career in Engineering and Engineering Technology. The short time available to each program presents unique challenges in giving the students a meaningful experience in each discipline represented in the program. This paper presents these challenges and how the program has addressed them, as well as the continual process improvement being undertaken by the faculty to keep the program engaging for the students. Additionally this paper highlights the retention rate changes in the college as a result of this program.


© (2007) American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Honolulu, Hawaii, June 24-27, 2007.

Posted with the permission of the publisher.

Original Publication Citation

Dean, A., & Anthony, B., & Vahala, L. (2007, June), Addressing student retention in engineering and engineering technology through the use of a multidisciplinary freshman course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.