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Silly program requirements

  1. Nov 18, 2009 #1
    Sigh, I'm required to complete two "introduction to the engineering profession" courses, and I hate it. I hate the course so much that I have missed 3/12 classes, but I've still completed the homework.

    I thought everything was going fine until I realized that one has to complete two of three in class assignments assigned unexpectedly. Guess what, those assignments were assigned on the days that I'd missed!!

    So, now I have to retake this stupid course, and it's offered only at very specific times, so it's going to be difficult to schedule.

    I'm almost thinking about transferring schools.

    Do most engineering programs have this requirement?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2009 #2
    Why should anyone have any idea what this class is about and whether similar classes exist other places you haven't told us? What is the class and what makes you "hate it so much"?
     
  4. Nov 18, 2009 #3

    BobG

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    Most universities have this sort of requirement - some course(s) that can't possibly transfer to any other university.

    It penalizes students that dare to decide to take their money elsewhere. At least any money spent on those particular courses is left behind and lost completely.

    It penalizes students that dared in the past to spend their money elsewhere. The university might not get money from you for Calc I or Calc II since you gave your money to someone else for those courses, but at least there's no possible way you took our "special" courses somewhere else so we get our money from you for those.

    The second is actually self-defeating, since colleges that penalize students both coming and going make it less likely the student will transfer from his old college. But such is the shortsightedness of the money side of colleges.

    I honestly can't believe you could fail one of these courses since their only purpose is to generate a little extra money for the school. I'd be embarrassed if I were you.
     
  5. Nov 18, 2009 #4
    Ditto to all of that. We all get our turn in the barrel.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2009 #5

    mgb_phys

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    Sometimes in engineering certain courses are required for professional certification - these courses have no technical content but the institute has to certify that you attended them, they usually do this by insisting that you turn up for all the classes.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2009 #6
    We had to take and intro to engineering class. It was a piece of cake. If we didn't take it they didn't get mad, it was just helpful to go into more classes. They allowed us to go back and take it, but most people with common sense and that looked at the school handbook at some point knew to take that class first to give you an insight as to what you are about to get yourself into with the degree. It was one of my favorite classes actually. We had tons of fun!
     
  8. Nov 18, 2009 #7

    Moonbear

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    What does the course include? I've heard of courses with similar titles, and they are meant to 1) give an overview of the different engineering fields so you choose your specialty area wisely and/or 2) to teach professional ethics that you're going to need for licensing. But, without you telling us what is covered in the course when it has such a generic course title, nobody here will be able to tell you if it is something you'll do anywhere or just there.

    It would seem rather silly to tranfer over ONE course, no matter how you look at it, though. Sounds like you just need to suck it up and do it. I don't have a lot of sympathy when the reason you need to retake it is that you decided to just start skipping class. That's a lack of professionalism right there. You do realize that once you get an engineering degree and are employed as an engineer, you are going to have to sit through boring meetings from time to time as part of your job, don't you? (Or maybe that was one of the classes you missed. :tongue: The frequency of those meetings may depend on your field and your employer, but you might as well learn now to sit through things that don't thrill you when they are required to get the job (your degree) done.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2009 #8

    FredGarvin

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    I think 2 classes is a bit excessive when it comes to generic Intro to xxx courses. However, that being said...no sympathy. You had a requirement to fulfill and you chose not to do it. Learn from the experience, fix it and move on.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2009 #9
    "1) give an overview of the different engineering fields so you choose your specialty area wisely "

    This describes the course exactly. It's not like I totally ditched class at the drop of a hat. I was very stressed for my finals and was baisically studying as much as I could. If I had a spare I would study, and if I felt I was "in the mode" I would skip Engg 100. At the time it seemed a more efficient use of my time. Mind you, I am 24 (ooohhh) years old, and I have researched every engineering department at my university before I applied. I did take the time to do every announced assignment, but truth be told I paid the class so little respect that I never read the outline until yesterday, when I read it by chance.

    I read that there were "in class assignments", when I went to talk to the program coordinator, he explained that these were more participation "events", ie, lets elect the student council. I was actually there for that class, but I came late, and didn't feel any need to vote, because I could really care less. I didn't realize it was required to pass the class, lol.

    imo, it's really a silly course. I prefer to view the power point presentations at home.

    Transferring Universities would be silly, I guess I was just agitated.

    I guess it's conform or die.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2009 #10
    "I honestly can't believe you could fail one of these courses since their only purpose is to generate a little extra money for the school. I'd be embarrassed if I were you."

    I'm not embarrassed at all. I've already told all my "friends".

    I'd be embarrassed if I failed let's say Chemistry or Calc, but this handholding class is worthless.

    Really, can you think of a reason why one should be required to have the various engineering disciplines explained to them, or how their GPA is calculated?

    The only one I can think of is to hopefully ensure that each student makes reasonable, well thought out decisions regarding the program they enter, and other decisions of a similar nature.

    This seems to assume that the student is naive or simply childish. I prefer to think that I'm neither.
     
  12. Nov 19, 2009 #11
    I just used to go to the less useful classes and do other work during the lecture. If one of the spot tests/assignments came up, or if there was an attendance requirement, then I'd be there, but still be able to use the time for other work, unless the lecture was interesting. Win Win situation.

    You made a mistake, learn from it and now stop moaning. :)-
     
  13. Nov 19, 2009 #12
    They have these classes at my school for freshmen. Its a b##S#### course that supposedly describes and explains engineering to see if you really know and understand what you are getting into. I would understand if they want you to take a seminar to get better acquainted with your studies, but they charge full price for this worthless easy A class. It does not transfer. It does not teach you anything most students already know and it is just a waist of money.
     
  14. Nov 19, 2009 #13

    whs

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    Weird. Back in the day, my intro Eng. class was fairly difficult and we had a ton of work and projects to do, but it was fun. Didn't learn about the different fields of engineering either.
     
  15. Nov 19, 2009 #14
    I don't know, perhaps ours is a legacy course that has just devolved to its current state today. I can't claim to really know what the courses content is from school to school, but I know that ours is a borderline scam. They need the money that it brings in, but no one wants to go through the trouble of turning it into a legitimate course.
     
  16. Nov 19, 2009 #15

    BobG

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    It's solely dependent on the instructor. Once in a while you get an instructor naive enough to think he's teaching a real course or an instructor that's insulted by being assigned to a sham course.

    I'm not sure which General Sax's was. If it's a large university, these are great courses to assign TAs to, since they have no pride. That eliminates the possibility they'll feel insulted, but can sometimes increase the possibility that they'll naively try to turn it into a real course. That gets bled off pretty quickly if they're pursuing their own graduate studies in addition to babysitting sham courses, so you have to get pretty unlucky to even have a possibility of getting less than A.
     
  17. Nov 19, 2009 #16
    I recently was able to watch a friend take a sham "intro to history" class that the University made him take because he did not have it yet. He is a senior and was also taking a History of the Soviet Union and a environmental history that specialized in the "little ice age".

    Needless to say, he didn't give the course the light of day and made a C in his easy A class. I made sure to ridicule him as was appropriate. : )
     
  18. Nov 19, 2009 #17

    BobG

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    At least he didn't fail it and have to retake it. That would have been really embarrassing. :rofl:

    How much will retaking that course cost, anyway? Wouldn't it just be cheaper to offer the instructor half the cost to change your grade to a C?
     
  19. Nov 19, 2009 #18

    minger

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    As has been said before, yes, we've all had to take the Intro courses. In ours, much of the material covered was just the student handbook.

    Funny story. A friend of mine decided to skip most of the class too. We had one assignement all semester: create a resume. Of course he skipped the day that said when it was due. He ended up with a D in the class.

    My recommendation, thank God for these classes. They pad the GPA and give you time to work on other assignements.
     
  20. Nov 19, 2009 #19

    chroot

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    It's a weed-out class. It's designed to teach self-discipline. The material is very easy -- stupid, almost -- but that's because the class isn't about the material! Students who attend the class and actually put some basic amount of effort into it will likely get A's, pad their GPA, and be on their way.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you deserve to fail. You decided to skip class, and you deserve to pay for it. The other students, who actually care about their education and are capable of attending class and following simple directions, will be more likely than you to finish the entire program, which quickly becomes grueling.

    Your sense of entitlement is astonishing. Rather than seeing this as a chance to learn a lesson about yourself and your own shortcomings, you want to blame the school and transfer somewhere else? You failed the easiest class in the entire program because you couldn't be bothered to take your education seriously. How many other schools do you think would want such a student, anyway?

    - Warren
     
  21. Nov 19, 2009 #20
    I don't like paying upwards of 500 hundred dollars to pad my GPA. Although, I agree that when forced to take these types of classes there is no excuse not to make an A. A gimme class ceases to be a gimme when you don't bother to takey.
     
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