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A Successful Model for Partnership between Community College and University Engineering Departments Leading to Expanded Access to Baccalaureate Engineering Education

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Two-Year to Four-Year Transfer Programs: Best Practices

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

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Paper Authors


Eric James Davishahl Everett Community College Orcid 16x16

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Eric Davishahl has been faculty and department chair in the Engineering and Computer Science Department at Everett Community College since Fall 2001. During that time he has overseen a rapid expansion evidenced by enrollment growth from 20 to over 150 full time equivalent students and associated staffing growth from one to eight full-time equivalent faculty. Eric has collaborated on several statewide articulation initiatives in Washington and was the recipient of the ASEE Pacific Northwest Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2008. Eric has taught nearly every freshman and sophomore level engineering course multiple times.

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Xiaopeng Bi Washington State University

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Xiaopeng Bi, Program Coordinator for the WSU Everett Mechanical Engineering program, was one of the two founding faculty members for the program in 2012. He has taught twenty-five engineering courses over the past eight years. He has been actively coaching various student design and competition projects such as Electrathon America, University Rover Challenge, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Dr. Bi received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003. His research interests include engineering education, aircraft and vehicle related engineering design, and dynamic failure and fracture of structures and materials.

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Increasing numbers of engineering students are starting their higher education at a community college with intent to transfer to a four year university to complete their Bachelor of Science degree. To facilitate the transition from community college to junior year university studies, new partnership models have been developed that offer more flexibility to students without sacrificing higher education quality. This paper shares details of a successful partnership between Everett Community College (EvCC) and Washington State University (WSU) to offer WSU Mechanical Engineering (BSME) and Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degrees located on the EvCC campus in Everett, WA. Extending the WSU BSME and BSEE programs to a location on the Everett Community College campus has proven to be very helpful and attractive to students from a variety of backgrounds and life situations that are historically underrepresented in the engineering undergraduate population. Enrollments in both programs have been growing steadily since the inception of the BSME program in fall 2012 and the BSEE program in fall 2014. Close collaborations have been built to leverage the knowledge, skills, and facilities of both institutions to provide a rich student experience with often limited resources. Community college students can enroll in some of the same classes as junior level WSU students before making the transfer, thus gaining exposure to the upper division experience before committing to the WSU program and providing opportunities for social mixing of sophomore and junior level students not typically available to community college sophomores. Collaborative relationships among faculty and students at the two institutions ensure the transition to be as seamless as possible. This paper provides an overview of the governing articulation agreements under which the program operates before sharing details regarding how the two programs align and integrate specific course curriculum, manage logistics such as course scheduling and equipment sharing, and provide overall continuity in the student experience.

Davishahl, E. J., & Bi, X. (2016, June), A Successful Model for Partnership between Community College and University Engineering Departments Leading to Expanded Access to Baccalaureate Engineering Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26449

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