Electronics Engineering Technology Hosts Successful
Event for Student Retention

9-9-08

Looking for some ideaa to help retain the new freshmen in your department?

The Electronics Engineering Technology program faculty did some brainstorming this fall to come up with ways that could help new students to feel welcome and comfortable with their program, and meet with advanced students and faculty. Their idea of a 5:30 p.m. pizza party turned out to be quite a success.

Organized by Coordinator Dom DeFino and adjunct faculty members Harry Bittner and Mackington Joseph , a former Utility Tech student here, the event drew 30 students out of 34 invited.

According to Bittner, student interaction was more than they expected. "The students started interacting right away. We had to kick them out at 7:00, but they were still going strong. What many of them had started doing was opening up their textbooks and doing homework together. Afterward the students were thanking us -- and they want to do it again."

Buttner said "I witnessed direct connections being made. I witnessed one of our sophomores who had military experience exchanging contact info with another military student to remain in touch. We had a freshmen student interested in energy conservation connect with a sophomore."

This fall's incoming freshman class in Electronics Engineering Technology is 50% larger than last year, Bittner said.

A Mercer graduate himself, Bittner earned his AA in Humanities 1990 and returned for his Electronics Engineering degree in 1999. He earned a bachelor's degree at NJIT. "I was surprised how well I was prepared for NJIT," he said. "Here at Mercer we get to nurture students and get their security up before they head to places as cold as NJIT or the work world," he said.