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Connector Faculty Program Training

posted Sep 24, 2010, 3:15 PM by Jon Sticklen
The football team trains.  

The basketball team trains.   

The debate teams trains.   

So it's no surprise that the Connector Faculty (CF) of the Engineering College also train for the upcoming season!   

The CF program is part of the NSF-funded EEES project in the College. EEES stands for Engaging Early Engineering Students, and the CF program epitomizes one approach to meeting the engagement challenge - and reaching the central goal of the EEES project: to increase the retention of students in Engineering by ten percentage points over the five year lifetime of EEES.

CF faculty are volunteers from every department in the College. Each one interacts with 5-10 first year students in ways that work for the faculty and for the students. The bottom line of CF program is to help first year students find a professional anchor in the college of engineering. All too often freshmen engineering students feel detached from the College, and detached from the engineering profession. The Connector Faculty program address those problems frontally.

Daina Briedis, faculty member in the CHEMS Department and CoPI on the
EEES project heads the CF project. EEES is now entering its second full year of operation, and so far, the CF program has been one of its most successful facets. Training for CF volunteers took place on Thursday and Friday, September 23-24, and on Monday, September 27. The sessions were led by Dr. Briedis, Ms. Colleen McDonough an EEES GRA Coordinator, and Dr. Nat Ehrlich of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (the independent evaluator of EEES). 

The sessions focused on the lessons learned so far in the CF program, and on applying them to evolve the program to better serve the students and faculty involved.