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Board # 20 : The Impact of Healthcare-Related Workshops on Student Motivation and Retention in Engineering

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Grisselle Centeno University of South Florida

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Dr. Centeno is an Associate Professor in the department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering and an affiliated faculty in the College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. Her research has examined optimization-based approaches for the planning and control of operations in healthcare, transportation and manufacturing industries. She possesses experience in working with large-scale mathematical programming models, developing heuristic solution methods, and building decision support systems. Dr. Centeno’s research work has been sponsored by various agencies including NSF, ONR and FDOT and she has published in the Journal of Annals of Operations Research, Computers and Operations Research, IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing among others. She is a faculty member of IIE and INFORMS professional organizations.

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Susana Lai-Yuen University of South Florida Orcid 16x16

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Susana Lai-Yuen received the Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) degrees in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. She is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Since 2007, she has been the director of the Virtual Manufacturing and Design Laboratory for Medical Devices (VirtualMD Lab). Her research interests include computational geometry, machine learning, data mining, product design, and engineering education with applications in healthcare, medical image processing, computer-aided decision support systems, and medical device design.

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In this paper, we analyzed the impact of out-of-class interventions focused on healthcare applications on student motivation and retention in engineering. The hypothesis is that exposing students to real-life applications of engineering in healthcare increases their motivation in their engineering education and careers, especially if they are female students. The out-of-class interventions consisted of two workshops where students interacted with professional engineers working in the healthcare field. The panelists shared their inspirations, obstacles, and achievements, and performed an interactive case study session based on their fields of work for students to address in teams. Each workshop was provided to a different student audience: Workshop 1 was provided to students who have previously expressed interest in the topic of healthcare engineering, whereas Workshop 2 was provided to students with some or no previous interest about healthcare engineering. Surveys were designed and administered at the end of each workshop. Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was performed to determine whether the students had favorable perceptions regarding the workshops while Mann-Whitney U-Test was used to test if there was a significant difference between responses from students based on gender. The feedback from students from both workshops was found to be very positive. Results show that 90% and 87% of students who participated in Workshop 1 and Workshop 2, respectively, positively responded that after the workshop, they were more interested in pursuing engineering as a career. No significant difference was found in the responses based on gender. However, it was observed that 100% of female students who participated in Workshop 1 indicated that they were more aware of the opportunities and more motivated to pursue healthcare-related engineering jobs after participating in the workshop. Results demonstrate that the proposed out-of-class interventions showing the connection between engineering and healthcare can increase student motivation in engineering, and are equally effective on students regardless of gender.

Centeno, G., & Lai-Yuen, S. (2017, June), Board # 20 : The Impact of Healthcare-Related Workshops on Student Motivation and Retention in Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27804

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