ERIC Number: ED413835
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec-31
Reference Count: N/A
Connections: A Model for Integrated Freshman Year Studies.
Olds, Barbara M.; Miller, Ronald L.
This document describes the development of a project called "Connections," at the Colorado School of Mines. "Connections" is an integrated series of active-learning courses and seminars that allow first-year engineering and science students to connect studies in engineering, physical science, social science, and humanities via a series of interdisciplinary modules and seminars, and is also intended to help them discover relationships among first-year core subjects, enhance higher-order thinking abilities, develop ethics and values, and improve communication skills. Three modules were developed (passive solar collector design, remediation of groundwater contamination, and analysis, evaluation, and ramifications of pollution data) and taught over 2 semesters to 83 first-year students; 80 students persisted into the sophomore year. The retention rate for students taking the "Connections" program was reported to be far above the school's average for first-year engineering and science students. Report sections discuss background and origins of the project, faculty and curriculum development, modules and seminars, the pilot courses, evaluation, and conclusions. Appendixes include: "Connections" modules; seminar syllabi; a perception questionnaire and student responses; and reports from the external evaluator. (Contains 16 references.) (CH)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Active Learning, College Freshmen, Communication Skills, Conservation (Environment), Core Curriculum, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Engineering Education, Ethics, Faculty Development, Higher Education, Humanities, Integrated Curriculum, Interdisciplinary Approach, Learning Modules, Mentors, Mining, Professional Education, Resource Units, School Holding Power, Seminars, Social Sciences, State Colleges, Technology, Thinking Skills, Unified Studies Curriculum
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Colorado School of Mines, Golden.