First-year Engagement Resources

Engineering Path to Success

To help engineering students succeed in their first year at Penn State, the College of Engineering developed the Engineering Path to Success. If a first-year seminar instructor uses this tool, students are expected to complete four activities, two required, and two chosen from a list of options. It is up to each student to consider what you will most benefit from (unless an instructor has specific requirements), plan when to do it, complete the activity, and complete the quiz/assignment for each activity in your class Canvas module.

Here are further resources for each of the activities.

Engineering Major Night – This is a REQUIRED activity

Attend a Major Night:
Each year, the Engineering Advising Center works with each engineering program to develop major nights. These nights are developed specifically for first-year students to talk to in-major students, learn about career opportunities, tour facilities, and ask questions about the fields that interest them. Many students enter the College of Engineering unsure of their major choice, and Major Nights are an effective way to learn more to help students make a well-informed decision. Learn more about College of Engineering majors

This semester's major night schedule thus far:

Department Date Time In-person, virtual or hybrid Contact Name Email
Aerospace Engineering  Wed., Oct. 13 7:00 p.m. Zoom Robert Melton 
Architectural Engineering Tue., Sept. 21 6:00 p.m. 107 Engineering Unit B Moses Ling 
Biomedical Engineering Thurs., Oct. 21 TBA Hybrid Justin Brown 
Biological Engineering Mon., Oct. 4 6:30 p.m. Hybrid
113 Agricultural Engineering Building
Megan Marshall 
Chemical Engineering  Tue., Sept 14 8:00 p.m. Hybrid
113 CBEB
Michael Janik 
Civil Engineering Thurs., Oct. 28 6:30 p.m. Zoom Martin Pietrucha 
Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Data Science Mon., Sept 27 6:30 p.m. Zoom John Hannan 
Electrical Engineering Thurs., Sept. 30 6:30 p.m. Zoom David Salvia 
Engineering (B.S.) Wed., Sept. 29 6:00 p.m. Zoom Joe Ranalli 
Engineering Science Thurs., Sept. 23 6:00 p.m. Hybrid
114 EES
Shelby Barron 
Industrial Engineering Mon., Sept. 13 6:00 p.m. Zoom Sarah Root 
Mechanical Engineering Wed., Oct. 20 6:00 p.m. Hybrid
E-Knowledge Commons 
Pansy Leung   
Nuclear Engineering Tues., Sept. 21 5:00 p.m. Zoom Leigh Winfrey 
SEDTAPP: Engineering Design, Engineering  Entrepreneurship,  Engineering Leadership Development, and Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship  Mon., Oct. 11 7:00 p.m. Hybrid
Kunkle Lounge
Engineering Design: Sarah Ritter

Engineering Entrepreneurship: Ted Graef

Engineering Leadership Development: Paul Mittan and Meg Handley

Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship: John Gershenson and

Learn more about Major Nights and view recorded sessions here.  

World In Conversation Dialogue – This is a REQUIRED activity

Attend a World in Conversation Dialogue:

World in Conversation is a student-driven center for true public diplomacy dedicated to expanding human understanding of complicated social challenges through facilitated dialogue.  These dialogues seek to examine society through the divergent views of people from different "sociological addresses". 

Your FYS instructor will arrange for you to be contacted by the World in Conversation program via email to schedule a time to participate in a dialogue. Please respond in a timely manner to this email.  

Additional Activities List

In addition to the two mandated first-year student activities, you must select two additional activities to participate in. Select from the list of activities below or some other PSU activity that is similar in nature (pre-approval from faculty is required). 

Regardless of which activity you select, you will write a 1-page reflective essay about the experience.

  • Attend an engineering student organization meeting. A list of organizations is located here. Link to the organization in which you’re interested to check their schedule of meetings and relevant contacts.
  • Tour the Engineering Library. The Engineering Library is located at the west end of the third floor of Hammond Building. Virtually tour the library here
  • Attend Fall Career Days. In Fall 2021 the Fall Career Days will be in person on Sept. 21. Registration for the virtual internships and co-ops will be on Sept. 22 and 23. Please follow the sign-up instructions found here.
  • Attend Drawdown event led by various Penn State student organizations. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind. To help foster a sustainability mindset for engineering students, we are partnering with several Penn State student organizations and offices to offer “Sustainability Sessions” based on strategies provided in Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. In these sessions, student organizations will introduce first-year students to Drawdown solutions that they support. It is a great way for students to learn more about local sustainability applications and how to get involved. Choose an activity to attend from the list of participating organizations below. Please check back as more Sustainability Sessions will be added throughout the semester.
    • Attend a meeting of Collegiate Wind Competition and the Penn State Wind Energy Club. This club participates in an annual wind competition and there are lots of opportunities to get involved in designing and building wind turbines. Learn more.
    • Attend a Sustainability Showcase presentation. The Sustainability Showcase Series makes connections between faculty research, personal and professional interest, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals while broadening the discourse surrounding sustainability. Speakers are invited to give a thirty-minute talk, answer questions and hang around to mingle with attendees. 
    • Attend a meeting of the Penn State Solar Decathlon Team. Join the 2021-2022 Penn State Solar Decathlon Design Challenge team as they tackle an exciting new project – a retrofit design of Penn State’s MorningStar Solar Home. In fall 2021 students will explore high-performance home design concepts and ideas and in spring 2022 dive into the design through CE 411, a 1-credit course. No experience is necessary, and students from all majors are welcome. Contact Luke Scanlon at to get involved.
  • Complete “Academic Integrity” module.

  • Attend a University (not engineering) student organization meeting. Find out about all of the Penn State student organizations here.

  • Attend second Major Night.


The Penn State Libraries are one of your greatest resources for information and knowledge. While the internet can be useful by itself, the Libraries have access to books and databases that are unparalleled and uncommon outside of academia. Did you know that the libraries has over 13,000,000 books, volumes, and e-books? Tours are available during the first few weeks of each semester. Throughout their college career, engineering students will find the Engineering Library located in 325 Hammond to be helpful as it contains a large reference collection of handbooks, directories, and other resources are available as are standards and technical reports collections. Engineering databases can be found using the Subject Guides.


Envoys are undergraduate and graduate students who have completed at least one co-op or internship experience and who help promote programs supported by both our office and the College of Engineering. They provide walk-in advising hours for engineering students and can answer questions about résumés, cover letters, interviews, and professionalism at work. They also reach out to engineering students, faculty, and employers through volunteerism at events, in special programs, and in classrooms.

Maker Commons

Brand new in Spring 2016 is the Pattee Library Maker Commons.

Maker Commons is a university-wide initiative to enrich the teaching and learning experience through 3D printing, rapid prototyping, design thinking, and direct support for students, faculty, and staff. We provide an open-access 3D printing service based on MakerBot technology that allows any member of the Penn State community to print on-demand. Rapid prototyping of electronic devices is made possible in the Invention Studio with an assortment of littleBits and Legos.

Student Affairs

The Student Affairs offices at University Park offer a multitude of services for students ranging from tutoring to health promotion and wellness



The School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) delivers effective engineering education and unrivaled research opportunities through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. SEDTAPP offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

213 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952