Your First Semester at USC: ENGR 102 Academy

Natalie Monger Natalie, Professional & Academic, Viterbi Class, Viterbi Life, Why USC Leave a Comment

Your first semester at USC is a crazy one, but Freshmen Academy is here to help you!

You might be wondering, “What is ENGR 102, and why do I have to take it?”

ENGR 102 is known as Engineering Freshmen Academy, and it is a 2-unit course that aims to help you settle into USC during your first semester, see perspectives on other majors offered in Viterbi that you may not have thought about, and meet other freshmen in engineering.

I am a Coach for this course, meaning I help the professor with lectures, organize out-of-class activities, and mentor students in the course. The Coaches are already starting to plan for fall semester (yes, this far ahead of time!) so that we can be sure the course runs smoothly and that you benefit as much as you can from the course.

Here are the main parts of Academy:

1. Out-of-Class Activities

Part of the course requires students to attend two out-of-class activities. During my semester of coaching, my Co-Coach and I planned a few activities: game night and pizza, a trip to the Getty Villa and Venice Beach, and a food-filled study night during finals week. These activities help you meet freshmen in other Viterbi majors and give you a study break.


2. 2-on-1 Sessions

One of my favorite parts about being a Coach is organizing 2-on-1 sessions for students. My co-coach and I met students at a coffee shop and checked in with them to make sure everything was running smoothly during their first semesters, and if it wasn’t, we discussed how we could help. These sessions helped us get to know each student on an individual basis, and we touched base regularly after these sessions were over.

3. All-Academy Lectures

About three times a semester, Freshmen Academy hosts alumni to come talk to students, and pizza is always provided! This year, we had individuals working in fields ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Business, and I think it’s a great way for students to look up to adults that were once in their shoes.

4. Newsletters

One of my favorite duties as a Coach was sending a weekly newsletter to my students. I shared campus resources, internship application opportunities, and small pieces of advice I wish I had known when I was a freshman.

5. Lectures

There is a designated 2-hour time slot for ENGR 102 each week, where a professor teaches the first half of the lecture and the coaches host activities for the second half. The activities are usually designed around working in teams. The ENGR 102 lecture is not your typical lecture; it gets you up out of your chair and always keeps you on your toes!

I hope you’re looking forward to taking Freshmen Academy! I know I’m looking forward to another great fall semester with the incoming class.

About the Author

Natalie is a junior studying Computer Science/Business and Dance. Click the photo above to find out more.

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