Published: Oct. 29, 2018

College of Engineering celebrates a decade of CoRe

Contact(s): Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303

The program that launched academic and professional journeys for thousands of engineering students marks a 10-year milestone.

Since 2008, any student pursuing a degree from the College of Engineering began his or her journey in the Cornerstone and Residential Experience, or CoRe. This year, the program serves more than 1,800 entering engineering students.

“CoRe’s mission is to help first-year engineering students succeed,” said Timothy Hinds, CoRe director. “With the help of our community and corporate partners, it brings the real world into the classroom and residential environment. It reinforces the importance and relevance of engineers for solving global challenges.”

CoRe began 10 years ago when the Satish Udpa, then-dean of the College of Engineering, met with representatives of MSU and Consumers Energy to discuss ways to increase student interest in critical energy-related issues.

Those early conversations led to Consumers Energy becoming the first corporate sponsor of the college’s new Engineering Theme Partnership Program. Initial activities included the creation of the first energy theme floor for residents of East Wilson Hall.

In the past decade, companies like BOSCH, General Electric and Tenneco have also created theme floors in East Wilson Hall, which offer students comfortable study and meeting spaces and technology amenities.

Hinds said no other university in the country has partnerships like MSU’s undergraduate engineering model.

“It strengthens networking opportunities for students to enter co-op and internship pathways and encourages our students to explore their interests in energy and environmental sustainability, and other areas of engineering,” Hinds said.

Founding director Neeraj Buch said CoRe introduced teamwork and design thinking from the beginning.

“We structure CoRe so incoming students can explore the various engineering disciplines through interactions with peers, faculty, teaching specialists and industry professionals from day one. It’s part of what makes it so special,” Buch said.

CoRe team members continuously develop programming to target the social, professional and academic development in the CoRe community. Some annual activities include professional development, mentoring, teamwork opportunities, and resource and networking fairs.

CoRe’s tremendous growth – most notably since 2012 – has changed the experience of MSU engineering students.

“By building academic and industrial partnerships, we reinvented how first-year engineering students lived and studied,” said S. Patrick Walton, associate chair for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “While the rest of the CoRe team deserves much of the credit, I am glad to have played my role in helping MSU engineering students succeed in their first year and beyond,” he added.

In the 2018-19 academic year, CoRe serves 1,800 students pursuing a degree from MSU’s College of Engineering.