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A National Conference For Collaboration In Engineering Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

TYCD 2002 Lower Division Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.70.1 - 7.70.4



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Grace

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Scott Klingenstein

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Ron Ulseth

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Nick Nicholson

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Don Moen

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Amy Hendrickson

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Aaron Wenger

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Kenneth Gentili

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Paul Gordy

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Jim Richardson

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

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A National Conference for Collaboration in Engineering Education Ronald Ulseth, Kenneth Gentili, Aaron Wenger Amy Hendrickson, Scott Klingenstein, Jim Richardson, Paul Gordy, Nick Nicholson, Thomas Grace, Don Moen Itasca Community College / Tacoma Community College / Itasca Community College / Eveleth Gilbert High School / Bismarck State College / University of Alabama / Tidewater Community College / Central Alabama Community College / Broome Community College / University of North Dakota

Starting with the “George Report” to NSF in 1996 it has become increasingly clear that Two-Year Colleges (TYC’s) could play a major role in engineering education. Community Colleges generally enjoy recruitment privileges among high schools that are difficult to duplicate at the university level. They also may be somewhat better able to incorporate retention producing instructional practices at the critical freshman and sophomore level of engineering education than is practical in a much larger university environment. The issue of under-represented groups in the engineering pipeline may find practical solution through the familiar access point to engineering of a community college.

There are problems to be addressed if TYC’s are to contribute in any major fashion to engineering education in America. First and foremost is the simple fact that many TYC’s have little or no history of committing to a two year sequence of engineering curriculum. Many, in fact, have trouble committing to a complete calculus sequence or to calculus-based physics. In addition, there is the difficulty of good articulation agreements that ensure seamless transfer of two year’s worth of engineering classes between TYC’s and universities. A few states, in fact, by law make such transfer impossible.

However, the opportunities for increased recruitment of both traditional and under-represented groups to the educational track leading to an engineering career that are afforded by the community colleges of this nation may be too large to continue to ignore. The possible increased opportunities for retaining a larger percentage of beginning students to an engineering track possible in the small, instruction-driven classes of a TYC may also be too important to ignore. It may just be that the time is ripe to take a look at creating a coherent pathway to an engineering career that begins in the local community with a community college and that ends in an engineering degree from an ABET accredited university. Past work by the authors with a national group of TYC physics educators (TYC-21, an NSF funded program) found great interest among TYC physics instructors for redesigning physics instruction to better fit the needs of engineering students. The authors own success in creating an engineering collaboration that now moves nearly 50 engineering majors into junior level work each year, may be the catalyst that is needed to begin a national collaboration between TYC’s and universities that enhances engineering education. Our paper will detail the current work of the authors, supported by NSF, in arranging for a national conference to explore TYC-University collaboration for engineering education. The national conference will have as its goals:

Goals: A. Create a National Collaboration for Engineering Education (NCEE). This collaboration would focus national attention and resources upon Two-Year College (TYC) involvement in engineering education. It would foster articulation between TYCs, Universities, and High Schools. It would bring attention and resources to the unique position that TYCs hold as connectors of high school teachers in SMET and universities offering engineering degrees. The TYCs are the logical connector between high school math, science, and technology teachers and engineering degree granting universities. TYCs often have deep roots within the local community, local businesses, and within the local school districts that can be used to recruit and retain students successfully to the educational pathway leading to an engineering degree.

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Grace, T., & Klingenstein, S., & Ulseth, R., & Nicholson, N., & Moen, D., & Hendrickson, A., & Wenger, A., & Gentili, K., & Gordy, P., & Richardson, J. (2002, June), A National Conference For Collaboration In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10264

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