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A Model for Development of Employer Engagement at a Small Campus

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Joseph Ranalli Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton Campus

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Dr. Joseph Ranalli is an Assistant Professor at Penn State Hazleton, and is the Program Option Coordinator for the Alternative Energy and Power Generation Engineering program. He previously earned a BS from Penn State and a PhD from Virginia Tech, both in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia. Dr. Ranalli's current research interests include development of tools and methods for solar energy resource assessment and the role of technology in engineering pedagogy.

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Susan E Chappell Penn State University

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Susan Chappell, M.Ed., coordinates Employer Engagement for Penn State University Career Services on the eastern part of Pennsylvania, working closely with five of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses to develop pathways of industry engagement that add value to the student academic experience. During her time at Penn State, she has also worked within the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Alumni Relations, Corporate Engagement, and Outreach and Continuing Education before joining Career Services. Prior to working in higher education, Chappell spent several years working in both the banking industry and non-profit sectors.
Chappell received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University and her Master’s in Education from the University's College of Education, with a graduate certificate in Distance Learning.
Chappell currently chairs the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) Government Relations Committee, co-chairs the University’s Employer Relations Protocol Committee, is a member of a University-wide Tech Initiatives team, sits on Penn State University’s Career Services Advisory Board, and co-chairs the Sponsorship Committee for the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Career Expo.
Sue Chappell can be reached at or

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Retention of engineering students is a key issue in engineering education, particularly with respect to motives of training a diverse engineering workforce. In addition to other academic and individual factors, student feelings of community and career awareness are contributors to engineering students’ persistence toward degree completion. As part of developing retention efforts for a new engineering Bachelor of Science degree program at Penn State Hazleton, we have created a recurring program of employer engagement to center students’ focus on the role their education plays in their overall career development and to begin to integrate students within the regional engineering community. The various industry engagement activities offered target all levels of student progress, and focus on several areas of career skills and networking within the larger engineering field. This paper will describe our program of employer engagement activities as a model, and will propose further research avenues toward assessment of program expected outcomes.

Ranalli, J., & Chappell, S. E. (2017, June), A Model for Development of Employer Engagement at a Small Campus Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27483

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