Memorial University is one of several universities in Canada that have a co-operative education requirement for engineering education. This provides Engineering students opportunity to acquire hands on engineering experiences as they complete their Bachelor program studies. Students have the opportunity to choose major from six different focus areas of Engineering. Major areas include the core Engineering areas such as Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer. There are also has Process and Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering programs. Memorial’s Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering program is the only co-operative program of the world in that area of Engineering.
The duration for the bachelor program is 5 years including a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6 co-operative education work term placement slots. The first year engineering is a common engineering year where students take courses covering all the core areas of engineering. They have to undertake multiple product design and robot projects as a part of their first year courses, which help students gain an understanding of teamwork and solving novel problems under time and material constraints. This experience in-group problem solving is a major asset in the working world.
To help the first year engineering students with their courses, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science provides engineering help center facilities where tutors offer assistant for all first year courses. Students past their first year occasionally find intellectually and socially fulfilling employment as tutors, helping students in earlier terms with material they have already covered.
In spite of the success of Memorial’s engineering bachelor program, it has some drawbacks, largely due to its structure. Engineering students have to take more than the typical five courses a semester as a program requirement, and the program mandates five years of study with mandatory summer terms in order to accommodate the co-operative education component.
Also, some students may find it necessary to complete several introductory science courses in Chemistry, Math and Physics if their marks are not up to Faculty Admission standards. The Faculty also has very strict for the promotion and fulfilling graduation requirements. Throughout the program students have to maintain an overall 60% average with no failed courses. Otherwise they are not promoted to the next academic term and have to wait 8 months to do the same term again. If denied promotion more than twice, they must withdraw from the engineering program.
The structure of the program makes it a very challenging and competitive degree at the same time. But still, graduates from Memorial’s engineering programs are among the very best of the world who contribute as a professional engineers and successful entrepreneurs every day. Their experience prepares them well for employment, and allows them to make exciting and novel use of science and mathematics to effect change in the world.
|Author:||Masfiqur Rahman Anik|