An integrated freshman engineering curriculum for pre-calculus students
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For the last five years, Texas A&M has been a member of the National Science Foundation's Foundation Coalition whose goal is to improve engineering education by stressing the connections among engineering, the sciences, and the arts. This was accomplished by integrating the concepts from calculus, physics, chemistry, English, and engineering beginning at the freshman level. One of the major impediments to expanding the program to all engineering students was how to handle non-standard students (i.e. those who had credit is some of their courses, or those who were not ready to take certain classes). At Texas A&M, these `non-standard' students comprise about 40% of the incoming freshman class, with the majority to these being deficient in mathematics, thus not being ready to enroll in college calculus. To address these students, in the spring of 1996, Texas A&M began to develop a modified curriculum whose goals were still the integration of material across the freshman classes. This program was implemented in the fall of 1996, refined during that year and is currently being used for some of the freshman who enrolled in the College of Engineering this year and who were deficient in calculus. Beginning in the fall of 1998, all incoming freshmen engineering students who are not ready to enroll in calculus will be enrolled in this program. This paper will address the design and implementation of the `pre-calculus' track program at Texas A&M.
author list (cited authors)
Whiteacre, M. M., Malave, C. O., IEEE, .., IEEE, .., & IEEE, ..