In Biosystems Engineering at Oklahoma State University, senior design is a two semester course in which students work on real-world projects provided by clients. First-year (freshmen and transfer) students enroll in an introductory engineering course. Historically, these students worked on a team-based analysis project, and the engineering design process was discussed but not explicitly applied. This study investigated the hypothesis that first-year and senior design teams can be linked through capstone projects to more effectively introduce design. First-year students design a small portion of the client-based capstone project as identified by and supervised by the seniors. Several assessment tools were used: student knowledge of the design process, presentations and student surveys. More than 90% of introductory students agreed that the project was worthwhile and helped them learn about engineering as a future career. After having institutionalized the linkage, seniors were more likely to identify appropriate projects and viewed the mentoring as beneficial.