Introduction to chemical engineering - A new course for Freshman students

Dana E. Knox, Basil C. Baltzis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Oftentimes entering freshman students know little about the major they have selected. Furthermore, the transition from high school to university is not straightforward and may create serious problems impacting retention. In order to address the foregoing issues we introduced a new course for freshmen that entered in Fall 2001 and indicated chemical engineering as their intended major. The course runs on a pilot basis. "Introduction to Chemical Engineering," runs as a seminar type course for one hour every week. The objectives are to expose students to various aspects of chemical engineering in general and career paths in particular, and to ensure that the students form a real connection with the department right from the early phases of their college life. Each week the students meet with either faculty members or alumni (both recent and well-established graduates) to discuss topics varying from the department history and administrative structure to careers in the pharmaceutical industry and independent consulting. Students visit the labs they will work in later years and also discuss issues of advisement. To ensure a seamless transition to the university life, we have instituted the Peer Mentoring program. Each freshman student has been paired with either a sophomore or a junior student and they interact primarily outside of the classroom. Mentors were selected, on a voluntary basis, from students that have a good academic performance and are involved in student societies such as the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. A special questionnaire has been developed with the help of the Office of Institutional Research in order to assess the course in a qualitative way. Experiences and results from this course will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11131-11138
Number of pages8
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
Event2002 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Vive L'ingenieur - Montreal, Que., Canada
Duration: Jun 16 2002Jun 19 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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