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Board 253: Developing Professional Identity: Integrating Academic and Workplace Competencies within Engineering Programs

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Betul Bilgin The University of Illinois, Chicago

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Betul Bilgin is Clinical Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering (CHE) at the University of Illinois
Chicago (UIC). Her research focuses on engineering identity development and academia-industry relations.

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Hasiya Najmin Isa

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Emily Seriruk

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Cody Wade Mischel

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Chemical engineering education needs a new rational approach commensurate with the evolution and expansion it has undergone via the inclusion of key elements from several fields: pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, biotechnology, and food and consumer products, among others. With the expansion of industry and growing needs for communication and leadership skills in the 21st century, practicing engineers are expected to be technically knowledgeable and professionally skillful. However, the typical chemical engineering undergraduate core curriculum has not adapted to prepare students for the multiple needs encompassed by the chemical industry. Lack of industry-relevant examples/topics and applications in the course contents results in less motivated and/or engaged students. Students therefore often struggle to identify with the profession and are not ready for the workforce when they graduate. This NSF PFE: RIEF project examines a unique experience where a student-faculty-industry integrated community is created to help bridge the gap between industry needs and the competencies developed within chemical engineering programs.

The project's main goal is to better understand how implementing up-to-date industry problems into one of the sophomore chemical engineering courses impacts students’ engineering identity formation and self-efficacy development. To analyze the impacts of the intervention, this project employs design-based research (DBR) approach to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of materials and methods reflecting the proposed synergistic model for a course and program design. Implementing up-to-date industry-relevant problems into the course will foster student-industry-faculty engagement (PI, engineering Co-PI, and course instructor), develop student knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in the chemical engineering world today and in the future, and support professional identity formation. Moreover, industry-student engagement through the methods proposed will develop students' societal and environmental awareness.

To understand the impacts of the intervention on self-efficacy and engineering identity, up-to-date industry-relevant problems were designed, introduced to the targeted course, instruments for self-efficacy and engineering identity were developed and employed. To measure the impact, qualitative and quantitative methods are used . This content analysis helped the project team identify challenges, difficulties, and gains of adopting this approach to the engineering program and provide an appraisal of student outcomes, including cognitive and affective responses. In this poster, the project team will share their results from Fall 2021 semester.

Bilgin, B., & Isa, H. N., & Seriruk, E., & Mischel, C. W. (2023, June), Board 253: Developing Professional Identity: Integrating Academic and Workplace Competencies within Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42699

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