Are you wondering whether you’re ready for first year engineering? Don’t worry if you are. It’s normal! Most of your new classmates will be wondering, too. This summer, the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan is launching its first "Summer Top Up" modules for incoming first-year engineering students.
These modules are "checks" to help you get ready for first-year engineering. You won’t have to wonder whether you’re ready anymore, you can see if you are. And, if you do have any gaps you will be provided with tutorial materials to help you fill in your knowledge and skills in those areas.
We are developing Summer Top Ups (STUs) for you in three subjects: Chemistry, Mathematics, and Mechanics (Physics). These STUs will help you get ready for your first-year Chemistry, Math, Statics, and Dynamics courses. STUs will be free for our engineering students, and this year, because this is a pilot program, they are also optional, as in you do not have to complete/pass them and your results will not be considered when school begins in the fall. (NOTE: Summer Top Ups became mandatory in Fall 2021, when the RE-ENGINEERED first year was officially launched.) But we certainly encourage you to try them! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making sure that you are well-prepared for September. Even before COVID-19 hit, we were planning on implementing these STUs, but now that your Grade 12 year has been impacted by COVID-19, they will be all the more useful to you.
Here's how they are going to work: Around Aug 17-24, you will receive an email on PAWS that will tell you how to access the Chemistry, Mathematics, and Mechanics STUs. You will have until mid-September to complete them, if you choose to. Essentially, the STUs are a series of short quizzes that will assess your basic knowledge and skills. They will all be short questions. If you get any wrong, you’ll be told what the correct answer is and how you should approach that kind of a question in the future. You’ll also be provided with tutorial materials to help you, if you want to use them. You’ll get unlimited chances to try any quiz again that you have trouble with. You shouldn’t need to consult any textbooks as you go through the quizzes, but you can do that if you’d like.
If you are already well-prepared for first year in these three subject areas, the quizzes won’t take very long. A first pass through each STU should take one-two hours. If you have any difficulties, tutorial materials will be provided to you through the system, which is completely automated. Once you’ve reviewed the tutorial material, you can retry the quizzes that stumped you the first time. You can do this as many times as you want, and if something is still confusing you when classes officially begin, we’ll have Teaching Assistants (TAs) that can help.
University courses generally proceed at a fairly brisk pace. By going through the STUs, you can be confident in knowing that you’re ready for classes and that you won’t need to review any high school materials once fall classes begin.
If you complete these Summer Top Ups, you’ll be ready to roll for classes in September, and you’ll have had some experience using two of our new Learning Management Systems (Canvas and Mobius).
We look forward to seeing you this fall, even if it will be through WebEx and other meeting software!