Engineering Outreach through College Pre-Orientation Programs: MIT Discover Engineering

  • Mary Kathryn Thompson
  • Thomas R. Consi
Keywords: outreach, pre-orientation, first year


Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs) can be powerful outreach tools for incoming college students and provide an exciting introduction to the field of engineering. The benefits reach not only the first year students, but also the upperclassmen who help to run the programs and the departments that sponsor them. A family of three engineering FPOPs was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Discover Ocean Engineering, Discover Mechanical Engineering, and Discover Civil and Environmental Engineering. This paper will discuss the basic format for these engineering pre-orientation programs, the goals and benefits of these programs, the details and success of these programs, and the future of similar programs at MIT and across the country.