What are AEWs?

Academic Excellence Workshops in the College of Engineering are one-credit small-group, active-learning sessions that complement the core engineering courses. An alternative to the traditional lecture format, the workshops are led by trained peer facilitators and offer a collaborative environment where students work together on concepts, problems, and projects to enhance understanding of course material.

What is collaborative learning? Why is it important?

Collaboration is working together to accomplish shared goals. Within collaborative situations, individuals seek outcomes that are beneficial to themselves and beneficial to all other group members. Collaborative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize everyone’s learning.

How will taking an AEW benefit me?

Students who enroll in workshops benefit from an immediate gain in depth of understanding of course material. Other benefits include improved academic performance, improved confidence, enhanced satisfaction with educational experience, and personalized feedback on performance. Data shows that students enrolled in AEWs outperform their peers in the core courses.

What will I get out of being an AEW facilitator?

Our experienced facilitators often comment that working as an AEW facilitator is both personally and professionally rewarding. Workshops foster a sense of community, and enabling the learning and success of others is not only rewarding, it’s also fun. Facilitators also gain skills that are highly attractive to future employers, including:  

  • Effective public speaking
  • Facilitating group activities
  • Encouraging and supporting teamwork and collaborative efforts
  • Learning from one’s peers
  • Understanding and effectively responding to different communication and learning styles

How do I enroll in an AEW?

Access the online add/drop instructions through Student Center. In general, enrollment for AEWs runs on the same schedule as registration for classes. AEWs start at the beginning of the 3rd week of classes. The workshops function as 1-credit courses and are graded "S/U" based on attendance. Those who miss more than three workshops will automatically receive a grade of "U."

What if I need to withdraw from an AEW?

If it is within the add/drop period, you can drop the course online through Student Center. If it is after the last day to add or last day to drop, you will need to complete a petition and an add/drop form. (Add/drop forms can be picked up in the Registrar’s office. Both of these must have the advisor’s signature.)