Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
College Industry Partnerships
The journey to acquiring professional identity begins in the academic preparation component of the community of practice. This acquisition is encouraged and promoted as student’s progress to graduation and transition into their professional career. In academia, thus, understanding and designing programs to enhance professional identity is vital to the successful placement of graduates into industry. This study will use Higgs’  definition of professional identity as a person developing “the attitudes, beliefs and standards which support the practitioner role and the development of an identity as a member of the profession with a clear understanding of the responsibilities of being a… professional.” As students apply and intentionally pursue a degree in a specific discipline towards becoming a professional, they are acting as agents per Bandura’s  social cognitive theory of agency in their own future and make decisions according to their self-reflections, identified desires, and motivations. Academic experience alone does not provide the clarity and absorption of the professional nature of the discipline that would enable students to fully develop their professional identities as engineers. Therefore, immersion into the industry via early-staged internships contribute apprentice-type experiences, mentoring, and exposure to the professional culture that enables students to reflect upon, adjust their goals to, and enhance their current academic experience. This paper explores the development of three students’ professional identity during their internship experiences as a case study of industrial internships’ potential effects. The study is of the reflective writing assignments that are part of the internship requirements and were analyzed for emerging themes that were then connected to the associated literature. Key findings include the student’s reflections on active learning; mentoring - checks and balances, role models, professional socialization, and scaffolding; and professional identity - accountability, communication, knowledge base, and problem solving. The findings support the early internship model as it infuses vital professional attributes into their developing professional identity.
Spencer, B. J., & Sriraman, V., & Talley, K. G., & Ortiz, A. M. (2018, June), Board 60: Social Cognitive Impact of Industry internships upon Engineering Technology Students Developing Professional Identity: a Case Study Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30070
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