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Electronics (EMT1255) is a required course for the Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) in Electromechanical Engineering Technology (EMT) at New York City College of Technology. EMT1255 introduces semiconductor devices and their applications in electronic-circuits. Students are expected to understand the structures and principles of semiconductor devices and the configuration and principles of basic electronic circuits. They also learn to analyze and design electronic circuits. In the lab setting, they acquire troubleshooting knowledge and hands-on technical skills. In this reading intensive course, students need to read the lab manual and a textbook of over 700 pages. Therefore, reading and understanding the textbook is a main concern., Given the breadth and depth of materials covered in the course, instructors often struggle with teaching specialized concepts, formula, and technical terminologies, because of the lack of strategies to engage students in active reading and learning. In this paper, the challenges students face in reading to learn in EMT 1255 and the strategies used to overcome these challenges will be discussed. First, we will review the correlation between students’ reading proficiency and their performance in the course by analyzing the results of reading assessments administered in three sections (N=66) of EMT1255 from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016. This will allow us to identify the impact of students’ reading skills on their ability to learn in EMT1255. Secondly, we will look at how students’ learning habits affect their performance in the course by examining the student survey results based on the ABET assessment outcomes of the course. We will also describe the Reading Effectively Across the Disciplines (READ) program, a college-wide initiative established in 2013 to train faculty to implement instructional strategies and develop assignments to facilitate reading to learn across the disciplines. In this program, EMT and reading faculty work together to improve students’ disciplinary literacy.


©2017 American Society for Engineering Education. ASEE, 9th Annual First Year Engineering (FYEE) Conference Proceedings, August 6-8, 2017, Daytona Beach, FL.



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