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The original item was published from 10/16/2014 8:40:36 AM to 10/31/2014 12:10:00 AM.

News Flash

Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: October 16, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Freshman engineering program aims to build foundation, help students choose major thoughtfully

With eight engineering programs at Montana Tech, it can be tough for a freshman student to choose between them.

And if a student picks one discipline and changes his mind, it can mean spending more money on unnecessary classes and more time spent in school. Other students become discouraged by the challenges they encounter in basic skills classes and drop out of engineering altogether.

To remedy, new to Tech this year is the freshman engineering program. All freshman students interested in majoring in engineering – nearly 300 of them – take two courses freshman year aimed at helping them choose a major thoughtfully, and also to create a better foundation of knowledge for upper-level engineering courses.

“We want to catch these students who are leaving engineering because they can’t get through a basic class because they don’t have the foundation,” said Keri Jaynes, an instructor and advisor at Montana Tech in the freshman engineering program. “We want to get them prepared to choose the appropriate engineering major before they change their major 100 times.”

Jaynes’s class, Introduction to Engineering Seminar, is a one-credit course that serves as an introduction to the different engineering majors - electrical engineering; environmental engineering; general engineering; geological engineering; geophysical engineering; metallurgical and materials engineering; mining engineering; and petroleum engineering.

Students listen to alumni speakers from each of the majors who are now working as professionals in those disciplines. There are also open houses for each of the disciplines, and students are required to attend four to mingle with professors and students who share their interests.

The other course, Introduction to Engineering, Calculus and Problem Solving, focuses in the first semester on creating spreadsheets, using computer-assisted design programs, communication, how to interview, resume building and dimensional analysis. In the second semester, the course focuses on a specific kind of engineering problem and introduces students to programming languages.

Read the full story in the Montana Standard
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