June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
12.49.1 - 12.49.9
A Hybrid Distance Learning Model used in a Introductory Civil Engineering Course for High School Students
Introduction The recruitment and retention of students in engineering is essential to meeting the needs of industry. Therefore, institutions have devoted significant resources to offering courses in a variety of formats. Online instruction has become widespread and is well documented1,2,3. Many of these studies suggest that students appreciate the “face-to-face” time with professors and also like the format of “anytime” online education. The paper presented here describes a hybrid distance education model used to teach an Introduction to Civil Engineering Design course at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to high school students at Las Vegas Advanced Technology Academy (A-TECH) who had an interest in the engineering field. This approach was used to recruit high schools into civil engineering and as a means for efficiently offering sections of an introductory course in civil engineering.
UNLV Undergraduate Curriculum UNLV has a total enrollment of approximately 28,000 students (undergraduate and graduate) and is primarily a commuter campus. The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering provides education to approximately 1,300 undergraduate and 250 graduate students with about 60 full time faculty members. Within the College of Engineering, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has 16 full time faculty members and offers degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels. The civil and environmental engineering program is ABET accredited and requires students to earn a total of 132 credits leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in Civil engineering.
K-12 Partner The partnership between UNLV and A-TECH started in October of 2001 to foster the development of an early studies program for high school students interested in engineering. The A-TECH instructor’s reason for initiating the contact was to expose students to real engineers and real engineering subjects in the high school classroom in hopes that students would elect to major in engineering when they matriculated at universities. The motivation for UNLV’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was a chance to improve UNLV’s image, show students the available resources at UNLV, and to motivate local high school students to attend UNLV majoring in Civil, Electrical or Mechanical engineering.
The Introduction to Engineering Design (EGG 102) was selected because many engineering programs across the nation now require a general course that introduces the subject of engineering and requires a freshman design experience. An early studies credit in EGG 102 would most likely be a course that could transfer into other programs, both as general college- level credits and also as a course that would count towards the engineering requirements of many engineering degree programs.
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