The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
The Parent Guide to Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science
A Message from Lynann Clapham, Associate Dean (Academic)
Welcome to the Queen’s Engineering family! University is a time of major transition in your child’s 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 Queen’s 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. I’d like to assure you that at Queen’s 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.
“Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.” James A. Michener
• 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.
Message from Lynann Clapham
• Queen’s 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.
Key Areas of Student Transition
How Can Parents Help
A Year in the Life of a First Year Student
Understanding the Structure
Engineering Frosh Week: Dispelling the Myths
Photo Credits Greg Black, Queen’s University Photographer, pages: front, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 Geoff Crowson, pages: front, 2, 3, 6 Lauren Sharpe, page 6
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In upper years, each engineering discipline has a Faculty undergraduate chair and a staff undergraduate advisor who monitor each student’s 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. Queen’s 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. Regards, Lynann Clapham, PhD, PEng Associate Dean (Academic) Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
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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 Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science where academic expectations are high. Key areas where students will need to adapt to new and exciting demands are:
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.
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 student’s marks will drop by an average of 15% from high school to university, so students and parents should adjust expectations accordingly.
All Queen’s 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.
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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.
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 Queen’s Engineering.
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 Queen’s and encourage your child to ask for help before problems escalate. If they aren’t 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 (email@example.com) 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.
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- 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 Queen’s these days. - found out I’m 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 I’m so hoarse now I can’t talk. Ate nothing but ice cream and cookies for dinner last night. I love Queen’s! - Week 1- intense... tonnes of homework in my first class! Good news tho - I’ve got a couple of other engineers on my floor, and we’ve decided to study together.
- midterm marks back - pas sed 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.
- 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 Queen’s. - got to get a louder alarm! It’s hard to get up for an 8:30 class when you don’t sleep until 4AM! - midterms next week are freaking me out! No time to cram like in high school!!
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- marks back - I passed!! John and Sarah going into J-section. - I know I can improve my marks, I’m 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. - orientation evenings were great! I know where I’m headed.
- term going much better - I’m really getting my math and physics, quizzes going well. - midterms... then READING WEEK! A bunch of friends are going skiing but I’ve got a midterm after and project work so I’ll take my books. - oops. Not much reading in my Reading week. Messed up the midterm. Need to pull a couple of allnighters to get back on track. - started house hunting!!
- this term is taking so long! Time management better since talking with Learning Stategies counselor. - Wouldn’t survive without my Engineering buddies. Judith really knows this stuff, and Peter makes us laugh. - class-study-sleep-class-study-sleepclass... can’t remember the last time I went out.
- Term done and APSC100 presentation went great! Final exams start next week. - sealed the deal on a house, just 10 minutes away with 4 friends. A bit grubby, Mom and Dad will hate it but it’s so cool. - Aced my Algebra and Calculus exams, Physics OK, but worried about Chemistry... - All done, heading home!! - Marks back... I PASSED!! So long, first year!
- Classes done!! I survived! - study break for exams, we ’ve staked out a room in the ILC to work together. - Exams went OK except for Calc, we’ll see...I think a few of my friends will be hea ded for J section in the winter. - DONE DONE DONE! and heading home for Christmas!!
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Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science:
Upper years – Choosing an Engineering discipline
Understanding the structure One of the keys to communicating with your son or daughter in engineering is to understand their academic environment. The next couple of pages will help you to understand the Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science structure and some of the terminology.
First Year - common to all engineering students
All Queen’s engineering students do a common First Year. The table below shows the courses taken in First Year; some of these provide the technical foundation for upper year engineering courses, while others serve to introduce the non-technical skills (teamwork, time management, critical judgment, engineering design, technical communication) that are a necessary part of engineering practice.
First Year engineering courses: fall term
First Year engineering courses: winter term Course Description
Course Description Engineering project, experimentation, and problem solving
Physics: statics and dynamics
Physics: electricity and magnetism
The Earth’s environment
Introduction to Computing
Introduction to Linear Algebra
First Year: sectioning
Although the first year class numbers around 650 students, it is further broken down into 16 sections of 25-50 students. The reason for sectioning in this manner is to enable flexibility of scheduling in a number of different formats – everything from the largest lecture classes of ~200 students, down to the much smaller tutorial classes (~20 students).
For years we have recognized that the transition from high school to university is a tough one for students, and that many have academic problems as a result. For students that struggle in the fall term, we recommend a move into J-section. In J-section, the first 6 weeks of the winter term is spent reviewing the fall term course material. The final ‘rewrite’ exams for these fall courses are held halfway during winter term, during
Engineering project, experimentation, and problem solving
8:30 - 9:30
9:30 - 10:30
APSC 131 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
10:30 - 11:30
APSC 131 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
11:30 - 12:30
APSC 161 Lect STI D Wks 1-12
12:30 - 1:30
APSC 171 Lect BioSci 1101 Wks 1-12
1:30 - 2:30
2:30 - 3:30
APSC 111 Lect STI D Wks 1-12
APSC 100 Lect
Below is a table of the program and option choices within Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science. But first some important terminology: Discipline (or program): the fundamental type of engineering a student may choose (e.g. Chemical, Electrical, Engineering Physics, etc.) Option: The sub-discipline within the program. The program/option combination is accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). Stream: A suggested grouping of courses leading to a particular specialty.
Engineering discipline (program) choices within Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science Discipline (Program)
Chemical Processing BioChemical
First Year sample timetable - fall term Time
Many of our incoming students don’t know what branch of engineering they are most interested in; still others change their mind by the middle of First Year. At the end of January, each department holds a discipline orientation evening to inform First Year students about programs and careers. Students make their discipline choices after the orientation sessions in early February. Provided students pass their First Year courses (in the regular sections or J-section) they have an unrestricted choice of discipline.
APSC 111 Tut STI 401 Wks 1-12
APSC 131 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
APSC 131 Tut CHE 213 Wks 1-12
APSC 111 Lect STI D Wks 1-12
APSC 151 Lab MIL 102 Wks 1-12
Electrical Mechanical Materials Computer
General Materials Engineering BioMechanical
APSC 100 Wks 2-12
3:30 - 4:30
APSC 151 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
4:30 - 5:30
APSC 171 Tut JEF 225 Wks 1-12
Mineral and Energy Exploration Geotechnical Geo-Environmental Applied Geophysics
APSC 171 Lect BioSci 1101 Wks 1-12 APSC 161 Lab ILC 212/214 Wks 1-12
Aerospace Engineering Biomechanical Engineering Manufacturing and Design Mechatronic Systems Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics
Civil Engineering Geological Engineering
APSC 161 Lect STI D Wks 1-12
Biochemical/Biomedical Environmental General BioSciences Evironmental Materials
APSC 111 Lect STI D Wks 1-12 APSC 171 Lect BioSci 1101 Wks 1-12
Math & Engineering
APSC 151 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
APSC 151 Lect DUP AUD Wks 1-12
Applied Mechanics Control and Communications Computing and Communications Control and Robotics
Communications & Signal Processing Communications Systems & Networks Electronics & Photonics Power Electronics & Systems Robotics & Control
Reading Week. Students in J-section then begin their “normal” 12-week winter term courses which will extend 6 weeks into the spring term*. Final exams for J-section are held in early June. Students doing J-section are not disadvantaged in any way, and since a sizeable fraction of our students (~10%) opt for “J” there is little or no negative stigma associated with it. Most J-section students pass first year successfully, and go on to be academically indistinguishable or even superior to their peers in upper years.
Mining Minerals Processing Environmental Mine-Mechanical
*Because it runs into the spring term, there are additional costs associated with J-Section
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Engineering Frosh Week: Dispelling the myths! The hype and misinformation around Engineering Frosh week are significant and as a result some incoming students find the thought of Frosh week intimidating. Here are some facts which will hopefully alleviate some of the fears and help your son or daughter approach their orientation week with a sense of excitement and anticipation.
carefully chosen. They are required to arrive at Queen’s the week prior to Frosh week, and are put through a rigorous training process that involves leadership, safety, and sensitivity training. They are also taught how to recognize and counsel students who might appear to be uncomfortable with their experience.
First of all, Frosh week activities are optional, not mandatory. If a student wishes to participate, he/ she signs up early in the week and pays a small fee. However, signing up does not oblige a student to participate in all, or even any, events. If students decide that they just want to watch an event rather then participate, or drop out entirely, this is possible at any time.
Engineering Frosh week involves a number of events that combine teamwork with friendly competition and a liberal dose of goofiness. The week culminates on Saturday morning with the greasepole, an event where the collective group of Frosh must figure out how to work together to recover a Queen’s tam nailed to the top of a lanolincovered wooden pole.
Frosh week is designed to encourage new students to work together in a group and to form a strong bond with their year. Groups of about 25 “Frosh” (new Engineering students) are led by 4 “Frecs” – two female and two male second year students - these are the purple, kilt-wearing, crazy hair sporting students that usually end up on the front page of the newspaper. And although the initial “Frec encounter” involves a great deal of shouting and silliness, the Frecs quickly become leaders, friends and mentors to the students in their Frosh group.
Frosh week events are closely monitored and supervised with an emphasis on safety, security and sensitivity. All events must be approved in advance by the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board (SOARB), and by the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science. SOARB committee members are present at all events and scrutinize them carefully.
Frecs undergo a rigorous screening and training process. They are interviewed for the positions by the Engineering Society and are
For many Engineering students, Frosh week is one of the defining aspects of their University experience. But obviously it may not be for everyone. All choices are respected, so it is completely acceptable to sit and watch the fun or to simply go off and do your own thing.
AU Academic Units, numerically equal to CEAB Accreditation Units.
P.Eng. Professional Engineer, registered by a Provincial licensing authority.
Basic Sciences Physics, Chemistry, Earth and Life Sciences.
PEO Professional Engineers Ontario: The licensing authority in Ontario.
Board of Trustees The senior administrative body of the University.
Prerequisites Courses which must be passed before the course in question can be taken.
Bursary Financial award for a student in need. Calendar An official publication of academic regulations, programs of study, descriptions of courses of instruction, and requirements for graduation. CEAB Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. Challenge Examinations Tests of competence (optional) in First Year subjects at the beginning of the year. Confidential Examination An examination paper recovered after the examination and withheld from circulation or publication. Core Those courses which are a mandatory part of a program. Dean The Chief Executive Officer of the Faculty. Department A subdivision of the Faculty responsible for a particular subject or group of related subjects, or a discipline. Electives A group of courses from which a specified number must be chosen to satisfy part of the requirements for the degree. Exemption A required course replaced in a program by relevant Work Experience plus an equivalent number of Accreditation Units extra to the program approved by the Operations Committee. Faculty Board The Committee charged with overseeing all academic matters in the Faculty. GOTSEP Group of Ten Student Exchange Program. H&SS Humanities and Social Sciences. IAESTE International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. Internship A twelve or sixteen month period in industry, arranged by the University, for academic credit. Letter of Permission A formal document allowing a student to take a course at another institution in lieu of one in the student's regular program. Operations Committee A standing committee of Faculty Board which deals with Admissions, Scholarships, Academic Progress, and Curriculum matters. Option One of two or more streams within a program: eg., the Environmental Option in Civil Engineering.
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Principal The Chief Executive Officer of the University. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Challenge Examinations in First Year Subjects (optional). Program A specified combination of courses leading to a degree in a particular subject. QCARD Queen's Computerized Access and Registration Database. QUIP Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program. Reading Week A period in which classes are suspended in favour of independent study. Regular Session A Regular Session normally consists of the Fall and Winter terms of instruction. In the case of first year students registered in the Extended Program, the Regular Session includes the Spring term. Regulations The rules established by the Faculty Board and by the Senate by which a student's academic progress and deportment are governed. Reread The reassessment of a student's final paper in a course, on appeal. SAL Student Assistance Levy. Scholarship A financial award based on academic merit. Senate The University's senior academic board. Session A period of instruction. A Regular Session comprises two terms, the Fall and Winter terms. Substitution Replacement of a required course, stipulated in the calendar, by another course, with the approval of the Operations Committee. SURP School of Urban and Regional Planning. Term A period of instruction, usually of 12 weeks duration. Transcript A document provided by the Registrar's Office that lists the entire academic record-to-date of a student in the University. An Official Transcript is certified by the Registrar. Transfer Credit Credit allowed for a course taken in another Faculty or at another institution. Withdrawal A formal process for discontinuing studies in a course or in a program.
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Where to turn for further information… Career Services (613) 533-2992 http://careers.queensu.ca/
• Undergraduate internships • Career direction • Resumes and interviews Diversity at Queen’s • Positive Space Program (613) 533-2529
• Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (613) 533-6328 http://www.queensu.ca/ dsao/4dasc/4D-1.htm
• Living in a Diverse Community
Engineering and Science Library (613) 533-2610 http://library.queensu.ca/webeng/
• Departmental Library Liaisons Exam Information (613) 533-2101 http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/ exams/
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Office (613) 533-2055 firstname.lastname@example.org
Health, Counselling & Disability Services (613) 533-2506 http://www.queensu-hcds.org/
• Study Skills Counselling Human Rights Office (613) 533-6886 http://www.queensu.ca/ humanrights/2main.htm
IT(Information Technology) Services
• Writing Centre (613) 533-6315 Policies in Engineering and Applied Science http://appsci.queensu.ca/policy/
• Academic Regulations • Academic Dishonesty • Senate Policies • Professional Service, Consulting and Related Work • Use of Calculators in Tests or Examinations Queen’s International Centre (613) 533-2605
Residence Services (613) 533-2529 http://www.queensu.ca/qlc/index.html
• Co-ordinator, Residence Life Activites (613) 533-6328 • Co-ordinator, Residence Life Assistant (613) 533-6000 ext. 77423 • Facilities Control (613) 533-3155 Safety on Campus • Walk Home Service (613) 533-WALK (9255) 6:00 pm – 2:00 am Sun – Wed 6:00 pm – 3:00 am Thurs - Sat http://www.myams.org/walkhome
• Campus Safe Walk Program* (613) 533-6080 *Available when Walk Home is off duty • Campus Security (613) 533-6733 http://www.queensu.ca/security/ index.html
• On-Campus Defense Training (613) 533-6733 • Kingston City Police (613) 5494660 • Campus Watch… keeping our campus safe
Senate Policies for all Students
Centrally located in Stauffer Library, this enriched learning environment brings together a comprehensive, integrated set of academic support services and resources for Queen’s students • Learning Strategies Development
• Access and Privacy • Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline • Academic Dishonesty • Code of Conduct
• Student Access to Final Examination Papers • Confidential Exams • Computer User Code of Ethics Volunteer Opportunities at Queen’s There are numerous volunteer opportunities available for students at Queen’s, and in the Kingston community. Whatever your interest…… from administrative committees, to recruitment activities to community outreach programs • Queen’s International Centre
• Queen’s Student for Literacy
• Volunteer Kingston
University Chaplain – Brian Yealland (613) 533-2186 http://www.queensu.ca/chaplain/
The Chaplain's Office provides a confidante and advisor to students, staff and faculty. This peaceful and safe space is ideal for bringing problems, concerns or crisis with the assurance of a personal, confidential and helpful relationship. University Rector (613) 533-2733
One of the main roles of the Rector is that of student ombudsperson. The Rector supports and advises students on matters of course mark appeals, residence grievances, disputes with the student government, racism or other forms of discrimination. The Rector can also be a confidential sounding board and source of advice if you’re wondering what to do about a problem you’re facing.
Published on Aug 25, 2010