The Role of the Preparatory Year in the Selection of Engineering Specialization: A Case Study

Omar S Asfour


At many universities, students who get enrolled at faculties of engineering are required to study a preparatory year before they begin their specialized academic programs. This year includes several general engineering and basic science modules. It is claimed that this year gives students the required time and knowledge to decide on which engineering department they would select. This study aims to investigate this issue from students’ and academics’ points of view. Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) has been taken as a case study. The study carried out a survey that includes a questionnaire directed to the students and a structured interview directed to the academic staff. Results showed that the majority of students do not think they need an entire academic year to get a clear perception for the different engineering specialities. They think it would be better if they get specialized directly upon their entry to the university. This is also the recommendation of the academic staff. Despite the benefits claimed for the preparatory year, greater ones could be achieved if students are given the chance to get specialized earlier. This includes giving engineering departments more flexibility in the selection of the first year modules


Engineering education, academic programs, curriculum, preparatory year

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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