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General Engineering Learning Community & BOYD Scholars Program

students reviewing paper

Program Overview

The General Engineering Learning Community (GELC) is a joint project between the General Engineering (GE) program and the Academic Success Center (ASC), bringing together first-year engineering students who are focused on supporting each other’s journey to becoming successful students and future engineering professionals.

The GELC provides a curriculum path that enables students placing in MATH 1030 or MATH 1050 to begin their engineering coursework in the Fall semester of their first year. The traditional fall-spring first-year student curriculum is expanded to three terms: either fall/spring/summer or fall/spring/fall. This extra time allows GELC students to build confidence in their academic abilities and absorb difficult math and engineering concepts while staying on track to graduation by giving them a longer runway to master success.

Students writing on boardStudents who begin in the GELC in their first semester apply to continue in the program as Boyd Scholars during the Spring and Summer term of their first year at Clemson. Boyd Scholars are students in the GELC selected to complete their summer courses at Clemson in the long summer academic term. The award will cover the tuition and fees for the 7-credit hours required in the summer, along with summer housing and a summer meal plan. The Boyd Scholars Program is made possible by a generous gift from the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation.

Acceptance as a Boyd Scholar is competitive and based on grades in GELC courses, participation in GELC requirements, the strength of the student's application responses, and availability of funding.

Participation in the GELC/Boyd Scholars programs is optional—students may choose to join or not join the program when selecting classes during summer orientation. However, not joining the program will delay your engineering coursework to the Spring 2022 term. You would also not be eligible for these programs' additional benefits, such as involvement in the learning community with other students and a professional skills and learning strategies course. You will still need to complete courses in Summer 2022 to change your major out of General Engineering by the start of the Fall 2022 semester (or delay a change of major to the end of the Fall 2021 semester). However, you would not be able to apply for the Boyd Scholars award to cover these expenses.

Program Benefits and Requirements

Learning Community

  • Like-minded Students
  • Practice Specific Skills on How to be a Successful Student

Take Courses Together

  • Engineering
  • Mathematics for Engineers
  • Engineering Success Skills

GELC: First-Year Curriculum

Curriculum

ENGR 1000 [1] Major Discovery Seminar
ENGR 1010 [3] Engineering Applied Math
ENGL 1030 [3] Accelerated Composition 
ENGR 1100 [3] Engineering Success Skills (Part 1 of 2)
ENGR 1510 [2] First-Year Engineering (Part 1 of 3)
Gen Ed Req [3] General Education Requirement

15 credit hours
Note:
Students will enroll with other GELC students for all courses shown in orange.

Curriculum

CH 1010 [4] General Chemistry I
ENGR 1110 [1] Engineering Success Skills (Part 2 of 2)
ENGR 1520 [2] First-Year Engineering (Part 2 of 3)
MATH 1060 [4] Calculus I
Gen Ed Req [3] General Education Requirement
(if needed) Engineering Graphics

14-16 credit hours
Note:
Students will enroll with other GELC students for all courses shown in orange.

Curriculum

ENGR 1640 [3] First-Year Engineering (Part 3 of 3)
PHYS 1220 [3] Physics I + (if needed) PHYS 1240 [1] Physics Lab

6-7 credit hours
Note:
In Fall, students will also take other classes to continue in the curriculum.



Student Experiences

  • The [GELC] was a great resource because it allowed me to review class materials with my peers. Not only was I receiving help from other students so that I may learn the content I was also teaching the content which helped me process the information better.

    students in general engineering class

    Geoffrey - Clemson University

  • “I have grown to be [a] dynamic learner through my willingness and commitment to adjusting. As an adult I am in control of my future and being a dynamic learner gives me the opportunity to maximize resources that offer me a greater chance of achieving my goals.”
    large general engineering classroom

    Janelle- Clemson University


Eligibility and Requirements FAQ

Our goal is to see students entering the General Engineering program have a successful first year and continue to the second year of engineering. For information on who is eligible to participate in the General Engineering Learning Community and/or Boyd Scholars Program, please preview the FAQ below.

Who is eligible to join the GELC?

The GELC is open to new undergraduate students from the United States majoring in General Engineering, who are invited and selected for the program based on their math preparation in high school. During summer orientation, an advisor will inform you if you are eligible to join this program.

How do I know if GELC is the right choice for me?

You should plan to join the GELC if any of the following apply to you:

  • My SAT Math score is below 640 or my ACT score is below 27.
  • I want to be an engineer, but math is not my strongest subject.
  • I did well in high school, but I am concerned about being prepared for college-level courses.
  • I felt like I never needed to study in high school, so I am unsure how to study for college-level courses.
  • I want to find a community of other engineering students who want to work together and help each other be successful.

When does the program begin?

The program begins on the first day of classes.

The curriculum listed states I would take classes in the summer. Do I have to take this class at Clemson?

It is encouraged for you to continue the Physics sequence at Clemson, but this is not required. It is possible to complete Physics at a school closer to your home. An advisor can discuss these options with you at orientation or during the school year and assist you with the necessary paperwork before next summer.

You are also encouraged to finish the first-year engineering sequence at Clemson. The ENGR 1640 class is unique to Clemson and is not offered elsewhere. A limited number of institutions teach an introductory MATLAB programming course that would transfer to Clemson as ENGR 1410. Still, in doing so, you would have to repeat the portion of MATLAB material covered in ENGR 1520 in the Spring semester.

Where do GELC students live on campus?

You can live anywhere on campus as part of the GELC! This program is designed to complement other on-campus programs, including Living/Learning Community (LLC) experiences, such as Residents in Science & Engineering (RISE) and CONNECTIONS. We do, however, encourage you to choose the RISE LLC as your housing option to best compliment your GELC experience.

If I am in the GELC program, can I still be part of other programs on campus?

Absolutely! Think of the GELC program as an “AND” program, not an “OR” program. If you are part of the GELC, you can be in this program AND other support programs on campus.

What does the GELC program cost during the Fall and Spring terms?

There is no fee for this program! Services are provided at no additional cost.

What is a Boyd Scholar?

Boyd Scholars are students in the GELC who are selected to complete their summer courses at Clemson in the long summer academic term. The award will cover the tuition and fees for the 7-credit hours required in the summer, along with your summer housing and summer meal plan.

The Boyd Scholars program, made possible by a generous gift from the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation, gives students the time to become successful without the additional financial burden of the necessary additional summer or full-term to remain on track with the engineering curriculum.

Who is eligible to be a Boyd Scholar?

Boyd Scholars are chosen using an invitation-only application process.

How do I apply to be a Boyd Scholar?

The Boyd Scholar application process will begin during the Spring 2022 semester.

When will I know if I have been selected to be a Boyd Scholar?

All applicants will be notified of their status during the Spring 2022 semester, likely around spring break.

If I am selected as a Boyd Scholar, what are the requirements of the award?

  • Remain a full-time student in good standing at Clemson, majoring in General Engineering, for the first year with the intent to continue in engineering in the second year.
  • Take all program courses together with your entering class as an intellectual cohort.
  • Earn a C or better in all courses during the fall and spring academic terms.
  • Participate in meetings with an assigned staff/faculty advisor once a month.
  • Attend all Boyd Scholar events.

What is the difference between GELC and Boyd Scholars?

In the Fall 2021 term, there is no difference. All students are part of GELC. During Fall 2020, GELC students can apply to become Boyd scholars. Students selected as Boyd Scholars will still take the same three-term course sequence as GELC students but will receive an award covering expenses to complete the third term in Summer 2022.

Can I still take courses in the summer if I am not accepted to become a Boyd Scholar?

Yes. Boyd Scholars will take the required courses during the Long Summer session, on-campus at Clemson with the cost of tuition, housing, and a meal plan for the Summer 2022 term covered. GELC students can take the summer courses (ENGR and PHYS) at Clemson or at a different institution at their own expense. GELC students also have the option to continue with courses in the Fall 2022 term, though this would delay a change of major to December 2022.

Can I choose not to join the GELC/Boyd Scholars Program?

Yes. However, not joining the program will delay your engineering coursework to the Spring 2022 term. You would also not be eligible for the additional benefits of these programs, such as involvement in the learning community with other students and a professional skills and learning strategies course. You will still need to complete courses in Summer 2022 to change your major out of General Engineering by the start of the Fall 2022 semester (or delay a change of major to the end of the Fall 2022 semester), however, you would not be able to apply for the award that would cover these expenses.



Connect with Us

For more information on the General Engineering Learning Community, please reach out with any questions.

Contact Information

Prof. Matt Miller
Senior Lecturer, General Engineering

Address: 107 Lever Hall
Phone: (864) 656-2542
Email: mkmille@clemson.edu

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