WHY DOES IT MATTER? EXPLAINING THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPLEMENTARY STUDIES TO FIRST-YEAR ENGINEERING STUDENTS

  • John Donald University of Guelph
  • Sofie Lachapelle
  • Thomas Sasso
  • Kyle Augusto
  • M. Gloria Gonzalez-Morales

Abstract

While complementary studies are an accreditation requirement and feature prominently in the Canadian engineering curriculum, focus-group conversations with upper-year engineering students have indicated that a lack of awareness of, and appreciation for, soft skills development often prevents students from benefiting from complementary studies to the fullest. Given this reported difficulty to grasp the importance of complementary studies, a study was undertaken at the University of Guelph using a quasi-experimental design to explore the possibility that triggering self-assessment and awareness about career development early in the engineering curriculum promotes greater engagement with complementary studies and soft-skill development. First-year engineering students took part in a learner-centered activity focused on the importance of complementary studies for the development of soft skills. Through active learning exercises and case studies of successful engineering graduates, who described the skills and knowledge required to perform their daily work, the session was designed to encourage students to develop greater self-awareness and intentionality about complementary studies and their associated graduate attributes. The outcomes of this activity and issues on how to embed it in the Engineering first-year curriculum will be discussed
Published
2017-01-28
How to Cite
DONALD, John et al. WHY DOES IT MATTER? EXPLAINING THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPLEMENTARY STUDIES TO FIRST-YEAR ENGINEERING STUDENTS. Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association, [S.l.], jan. 2017. ISSN 2371-5243. Available at: <https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/PCEEA/article/view/6474>. Date accessed: 27 june 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.24908/pceea.v0i0.6474.