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The Parent Guide to Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science

Transcript of Queen's EngParent

  • The FaculTy oF engineering and applied Science

    Queens EngParent:

    The Parent Guide to Queens Engineering and Applied Science

  • Scientists dream about doing great things.

    Engineers do them.

    James A. Michener

    1 Queens EngParent


    2 Message from Lynann Clapham

    3 Key Areas of Student Transition

    4 How Can Parents Help

    5-6 A Year in the Life of a First Year Student

    7-8 Understanding the Structure

    9 Engineering Frosh Week: Dispelling the Myths

    10 Glossary

    Photo CreditsGreg Black, Queens University Photographer, pages: front, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6Geoff Crowson, pages: front, 2, 3, 6Lauren Sharpe, page 6

    Queens EngParent 2

    University is a time of major transition in your childs life and also in yours. Gone are the days when your daughter or son is dependent on you for every need and subjected to the usual house rules. Suddenly, their boundaries are expanded considerably with nearly every critical aspect of their life left to their own judgment. As parents, we desperately want them to make good choices, and while encouraging their new found independence we also want to help them optimize their chances for success.

    At Queens we recognize that many students turn to their parents on a daily basis for advice and support. Therefore, we have prepared this Parent Guide to help you understand what your son/daughter will encounter when they are in their first foray away from home, and to provide you with information on how best to advise them when they meet the typical hurdles associated with university life.

    Id like to assure you that at Queens Engineering and Applied Science we expect every one of our students to graduate successfully, and we consider it our job to help each and every one of them achieve his or her academic potential. Our record in this regard is exemplary we are #1 amongst Canadian Engineering programs when it comes to the percentage of incoming students who successfully graduate (91%). Why have we been so successful? In part, it is because we recognize that first year is a very difficult transition year, and we have a number of special measures and programs in place to help our students, for example:

    Our Program Associate (First Year), Ana Popovic, is available for questions and to help First Year students with any problems.

    J-Section (described in detail later) designed to allow students who have difficulty in the fall term of first year to repeat fall courses, before proceeding with their winter term subjects.

    Queens has a Learning Strategies Development program to help students develop the effective studying habits and time management skills that are so critical in the university environment.

    In upper years, each engineering discipline has a Faculty undergraduate chair and a staff undergraduate advisor who monitor each students progress and are there to answer questions and provide advice. Futhermore, opportunities such as dual degrees, internship and exchange programs also have special Faculty Office advisors that meet with interested students to help build custom-made degree programs.

    Queens Engineering and Applied Science is extremely proud of our students and strongly committed to their success, both in and out of the classroom. Together with you, we strive to provide a strong support system that will help them make the transition from a teen to a young adult and prepare them for a vibrant, exciting, and promising career.


    Lynann Clapham, PhD, PEngAssociate Dean (Academic)Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

    A Message from Lynann Clapham, Associate Dean (Academic)

    WelCome to the Queens engineering family!

  • 3 Queens EngParent

    Key areas of student transition:Even for the most successful high school student, the transition to university life can be a challenge. This is particularly true in Queens Engineering and Applied Science where academic expectations are high. Key areas where students will need to adapt to new and exciting demands are:

    Intellectually: All Queens Engineering students were at the top of their class in high school. Now their classes are filled with peers who all have similar intellectual abilities and the academic expectations are raised accordingly. The workload is heavy right from the first class. Students are expected to solve complex problems that require them to apply multifaceted approaches. Self-motivation and time management skills are critical because it is up to each student to monitor and maintain his or her own daily progress.

    Socially:Residence life, frosh week and common classes with other first year engineers mean that students will be making a fresh start with new friends in an environment of new found freedoms. University life may require your son or daughter to challenge long-standing beliefs as they encounter tremendous diversity and non-traditional ways of thinking. Remaining connected with those who care about them is important as they grow and mature as individuals in response to new opportunities and pressures.

    Emotionally:Living away from home for the first time presents many challenges. Initially students may experience loneliness, lack confidence, and even question their decision to attend university. Gradually these feelings will resolve themselves as they begin working together with their peers, establish close friendships, and develop that sense of community and spirit that characterizes Queens Engineering.

    hoW parents Can help:Recognize the boundaries: Since your child is now an adult, all interaction with the University will be through them. Academic transcript (marks) information is communicated only to an individual student, unless they provide a written statement indicating that another specified person may have access to this information. Although we encourage you to provide advice and guidance, it is important that your son/daughter becomes the decision-maker in his/her life.

    Be informed: Study the parent guide! This will help you to understand the university environment so that you may respond in ways that are helpful. Remember that this is not high school; the typical students marks will drop by an average of 15% from high school to university, so students and parents should adjust expectations accordingly.

    Communicate: Maintain an open, non-judgmental channel of communication. There is little you can do to directly solve the problems that your son/daughter faces, but you can offer guidance and ask questions that help them make day-to-day decisions.

    Encourage and motivate: All students go through difficult periods when they are under a great deal of intellectual and emotional stress. During this time it is useful to have someone to remind them of their strengths and help them to keep life in perspective.

    Promote healthy choices: New found independence can often mean poor eating and sleeping habits. Residence meal plans offer a wide variety of healthy choices encourage your child to eat well and maintain a regular sleep routine.

    Suggest support when they need it: Often students feel stigmatized by their problems, or are too embarrassed to admit they need help. As a result they may seek advice long after it is needed. As a parent, you can familiarize yourself with the support services available at Queens and encourage your child to ask for help before problems escalate. If they arent sure where to turn, or they just want someone to talk to, remind your son/daughter that a quick email to the Engineering and Applied Science Faculty Office (reception@appsci.queensu.ca) can set up a meeting with an advisor within 24 hours.

    Self-motivation and time management skills are critical because it is up to each student to monitor and maintain his or her own daily progress.

    Queens EngParent 4

  • 5 Queens EngParent

    - getting ready! I can hardly wait! All my high school friends are also making plans for their moves to different places. - receiving lots of stuff from Queens these days.- found out Im going to be in Victoria Hall residence, I got my new computer, I am all packed and ready to go!

    - Frosh week was sort of scary at first, but after the first day I really got into it. The grease pole was the best, but Im so hoarse now I cant talk. Ate nothing but ice cream and cookies for dinner last night. I love Queens! - Week 1- intense... tonnes of homework in my first class! Good news tho - Ive got a couple of other engineers on my floor, and weve decided to study together.

    - first Physics quiz - brutal. I passed (barely). Must read through notes before class!

    - Miss my bed back home. - Heading off to Douglas Tutorials for some help in Physics- Thank God for Thanksgiving -sort of strange though - loved being home but missed Queens. - got to get a louder alarm! Its hard to get up for an 8:30 class when you dont sleep until 4AM!- midterms next week are freaking me out! No time to cram like in high school!!

    - midterm marks back - passed everything- never thought a 65 would look so good!- Gotta stop these late nights and early mornings, friends all have colds I can feel one coming.

    - Classes done!! I survived!- study break for exams, weve staked out a room in the ILC to work together.- Exams went OK except for Calc, well see...I think a few of my friends will be headed for J section in the winter.- DONE DONE DONE! and heading home for Christmas!!

    - marks back - I passed!! John and Sarah going into J-section.- I know I can improve my marks, Im going to be healthier this term and not put stuff off as much. Maybe I should talk to that Learning Strategies person at the ILC!- got to start thinking about my discipline choice.- orient