Transforming from a high schooler to a college first-year student is a challenge for any student for many reasons. This challenge is more intense when the student chooses professional undergraduate degree programs such as engineering due to more stringent program requirements and higher expectations of academic preparedness, particularly in mathematics and sciences. A significant number of students enrolled in a minority institution like a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) are still first-generation college students in their families. Hence, the challenges they have to overcome as the first-year students are greater than their peers. This situation warrants a first-year course that is specifically designed to help the first-year student who intends to pursue an engineering major to successfully navigate their academic life within the campus. The freshmen students are challenged with a number of issues including financial management, time management, student advising and alcohol, and drug policies. In this paper, the authors explore how such one section of a course titled First Year Seminar (FYS 1101) specially customized for engineering majors and offered at their HBCU institution would address the challenges of incoming engineering first-year student.
Professor of Environmental Engineering, Department of Water Resources Management, Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems. He is also a registered Professional Civil Engineer in Ohio, certified Professional Hydrologist-Surface Water, Board Certified Environmental Engineer, and Envision Sustainability Professional.
Dr. Nedunuri holds appointment as a Professor at Central State University (CSU) in the International Center for Water Resources Management (ICWRM). He teaches Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics, Soil and Water Pollution, Water Chemistry, Water Supply, Groundw
Dr. Edison Perdomo is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Central State University. His interest include the role of psychological function in the regulation of physiological mechanisms such as cardiovascular and thermoregulations. Additionally, he is interested in cross-cultural differences in learning and communication styles and in studying how psycho-social differences can affect the rate of seeking medical attention and compliance as well as the following of safety protocols in the consumption of food and water.
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