Asee peer logo

A Learning Outcomes Survey Of Engineering Cooperative Education Students: Preliminary Findings

Download Paper |

Collection

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Outcomes of Cooperative Education Assignments

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

14.42.1 - 14.42.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4993

Download Count

33

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer Johrendt University of Windsor

visit author page

Dr. Johrendt obtained her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from the University of Windsor after working for almost ten years as Product Development Engineer. Currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at the University of Windsor, she previously worked for two years as an Experiential Learning Specialist in the department. She serves as both the Faculty and Departmental Cooperative Education representative at the University. She has co-authored several journal paper publications and conference presentations that have featured experiential learning and engineering education topics as well as her engineering research in vehicle structural durability and the use of neural networks to model non-linear material behaviour.

visit author page

biography

Schantal Hector University of Windsor

visit author page

Ms. Hector is currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Economics at the University of Windsor. She is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Career Education and has applied her knowledge and skills as part of the project to develop learning outcomes for the cooperative education program over the past two years. She has been instrumental in the collection and statistical analysis of the learning outcomes data using Excel and SPSS methods and its presentation into a comprehensible graphic format. Other endeavours have included aiding in the development of an online course for co-op students at the University of Windsor and engaging in research that seeks to enhance the employment options for graduates. Her research interest continues to be to help enrich and enhance the co-op experience for other students.

visit author page

biography

Michelle Watters AUTO21

visit author page

Ms. Watters holds Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Education Degrees and is a Master of Science candidate for 2010. She has worked for twelve years in the area of employment counselling and has been a co-op coordinator for nine years, where she helped champion the cooperative education learning outcomes initiative. She also authored international conference presentations on best practices in cooperative education and has co-created a vocational rehabilitation-training program for professionals in the United Kingdom. She is currently the Executive Director of AUTO21, a Network of Centres of Excellence for automotive-related research.

visit author page

biography

Derek Northwood University of Windsor

visit author page

Professor Northwood has over thirty years experience in the field of Engineering Education. He occupies the posts of Research Leadership Chair and Professor of Engineering Materials. He was Deputy Chairman of the International Liaison Group-Engineering Education and a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the former UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education. He has been instrumental in research aimed at transitioning the University into a learning centered institution as well as research focusing on Materials Sciences/Engineering and Engineering education. He is also an author and co-author of over 270 papers in international refereed journals and over 230 papers in international refereed conference proceedings.

visit author page

biography

Geri Salinitri University of Windsor

visit author page

Dr. Salinitri has taught several Guidance and Career Education courses involving cooperative education, learning strategies and outcomes and assessment, and has developed the mentor/mentee satisfaction and assessment instruments. For over thirty years, she has been mentoring students and is currently involved in a mentor training program for teachers and student leaders. She has organized several professional presentations, published work in the area of mentoring, teaching and learning, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and mentoring excellence.

visit author page

biography

Arunita Jaekel University of Windsor

visit author page

Dr. Jaekel received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Windsor. She is currently a professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor. Her research interests are in the areas of optical network design and wireless sensor networks. She is a member of the computer science curriculum committee for the cooperative education committees and a faculty advisor for co-op students. She is also a faculty mentor for female students in under-represented fields. She has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, has served on organizing committees for several well-known international conferences.

visit author page

biography

Karen Benzinger University of Windsor

visit author page

Ms. Benzinger holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Education Degrees. She has implemented student and learning support services for nineteen years and has served as the University’s Director of the Centre for Career Education for the past seven years. She co-chairs a University-level Cooperative Education Committee aimed at improving and expanding cooperative education at the University. She has initiated a project to identify, support and assess learning outcomes for cooperative education and is part of a group geared at developing a model of assessment for University Career Centres that incorporates learning outcomes.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Learning Outcomes Survey of Engineering Cooperative Education Students: Preliminary Findings Introduction

Since the inception of cooperative education at the University of Windsor, the work terms have been structured as four-month work terms (one semester), alternating with academic terms throughout the undergraduate degree program per guidelines provided by the Canadian Association for Cooperative Education Programs1. At the University of Windsor, a minimum of three work terms satisfy the requirement for an undergraduate engineering degree with a co-op designation. Increasingly, there have been requests by industry to have students complete consecutive or extended work terms of eight months or more to fully utilize trained students, minimizing workforce turnover and in turn generate their own pool of experienced candidates for full time employment after graduation. In general, the extended work terms are viewed by students as an opportunity to fully explore the profession and industry in which the positions are offered, to increase their involvement in more complex assignments, and to establish a network of contacts in a company where they may consider seeking future work term placements or full time employment following graduation.

The University of Windsor has recently established formal learning outcomes for the co-op program and implemented new educational strategies to support the achievement of those outcomes2, 3. A survey was recently administered to graduates and senior students of the cooperative engineering program at the University of Windsor (the control group) to assess their perceptions of the effect that co-op had on the following: their academic and career-related goals and motivation; identification of personal strengths, weaknesses and preferences; understanding of academic theory and technical knowledge; development of attributes; and the ability to effectively contribute in the workplace through identified complementary industry-related skills. The control group responses with respect to learning outcomes, activities and assessment methods that were implemented in the program following their participation in co-op were also analyzed. The second phase of the survey, the administration of the same survey to the group of students participating in the revised program (the experimental group), is taking place during the current academic year.

The survey’s demographic section incorporated questions about the length of the work term that the respondents completed in order to address the research question about the effect of longer term placements on student perception of co-op as it relates to the skills identified. While the majority of students in the control group indicated that their participation in co-op did result in achievement of the identified outcomes, preliminary analysis of the control group responses suggests that, at least subjectively, the benefits of the extended work term exceed those of the traditional shorter work term on many of the outcomes.

Literature Review

For over 100 years, cooperative education and internship programs have been an option for post- secondary education with the premise of assisting students’ transition from school to workplace. These programs have been defined as structured educational strategies integrating academic

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015