June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Community Engagement Division
23.42.1 - 23.42.26
The Impact of a First-Year Leadership and Service Learning Module: A Follow-up StudyProfessional skills – proficiencies such as leadership, teamwork and communication – are oftenunderemphasized and even neglected in engineering programs. Team-based service learning anddesign projects are pedagogical methods that nurture these skills. Moreover, service learning hasthe potential to attract and retain women in engineering.A five-week module focusing on leadership and service learning was implemented as part of afirst-year engineering course in 2011. This module presented mechanisms for developingprofessional skills and provided hands-on application of these skills through a K-12 servicelearning project at a science museum. The other modules offered in the course emphasizedtraditional engineering topics. This longitudinal study focuses on the impact of the non-traditional leadership module on its students as they enter their third year in engineering.Our previous study demonstrated that incorporating leadership studies into a freshman-levelengineering course correlated with increased confidence in students’ abilities, which couldpositively impact retention. Twenty-four students from both leadership and non-leadershipmodules were assessed over one year later using the same online survey based on ABET/NAEcriteria with additional open-ended questions. Follow-up data reveal that alumni of theleadership module further increased their confidence in communication, analytic, andleadership/management skills, and are generally more aware of the role of leadership inengineering. Qualitative comments show these students felt they gained influential earlyexposure to what a successful engineer needs: applicable and practical skills, teamwork, projectmanagement, communication, and problem solving, consistent with our earlier findings. Manycontinued to take on leadership roles in extracurricular activities, internships, and class projects,including one who is a founding member of Design for America at the university.Our continued collection of survey data from a one-year follow-up evaluates the long-termeffects of leadership on students’ confidence in both academics and industry.
Ansari, F., & Wang, J., & Shelby, R., & Patten, E., & Pruitt, L. A. (2013, June), A Follow-Up Study of a First-Year Leadership and Service Learning Module Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19056
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