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Board 80: Preparing Engineering Faculty for Inclusion of Civic Engagement in Curriculum

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Faculty Development Poster Session

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Constituent Committee

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32435

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/32435

Download Count

113

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Paper Authors

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Sherri Sklarwitz Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2384-847X

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Sherri works with the Student Programs Team at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University to support research and evaluation in addition to facilitating connections with student organizations across campus. She earned her doctorate in 2015 from Boston University, and her research focused on designing assessments to understand how student attitudes can change after participating in global citizenship coursework. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Sherri taught civics to middle school students in Somerville, MA. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations, and her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Ethan E Danahy Tufts University

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Ethan Danahy is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department Computer Science at Tufts University outside of Boston MA, having received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007, all from Tufts. Additionally, he acts as the Engineering Research Program Director at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), where he manages educational technology development projects while researching innovative and interactive techniques for assisting teachers with performing engineering education and communicating robotics concepts to students spanning the K-12 through university age range.

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Peter de Guzman Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University

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A 2018 graduate of Tufts University, Peter is the Student Outreach Coordinator, primarily responsible for further engaging Tufts students on all campuses with the programs and goals of Tisch College. When not assisting Tisch College programs, compiling the newsletter, and spotlighting students’ civic work through social media and the website, he coordinates with different branches of Tufts University to strengthen relationships and raise awareness of Tisch College’s resources. Peter studied Chinese and International Relations at Tufts University, and is passionate about expanding equitable access to civic engagement opportunities.

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Fredrik W. Lyford The Fletcher School, Tufts University

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Norwegian graduate student of international organization, conflict resolution, and institutional reconstruction. Previous research includes local voter turnout dynamics and progressive institutional alternatives.

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Mindy Nierenberg

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Nancy Thomas Tufts University

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Nancy Thomas directs the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. IDHE is an applied research center that studies higher education’s role in American democracy and supports college and university student political learning and participation. The Institute's signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) examines student voting rates, patterns, and conditions. Her work and scholarship interests include college student civic learning, campus climates for political engagement, deliberative democracy, political equity and inclusion, and campus free speech and academic freedom. She holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a law degree from Case Western Research University’s School of Law.

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Marian Woznica Tisch College of Civic Life

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As a 2017 graduate from Tufts University, Marian served as Student Outreach Coordinator for Tisch College of Civic Life for the 2017-2018 academic year. In this capacity, she supported many initiatives around the College, including programs, communications, and research. Long interested in the fusion of civic engagement and education, Marian was proud to participate in the development of this project.

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Abstract

This "Lessons Learned Paper" describes an initiative at Tufts University within the School of Engineering to include civic engagement in a collection of first-year introduction to engineering courses. Recognizing a general lack of youth civic engagement amongst engineers (of all undergraduate majors, engineering students have the lowest rates of voting (Thomas & Brower, 2017)) and leveraging the opportunity to deepen engineering students perception of the role of professional engineers in society (colleges are uniquely equipped to provide a “crucible moment” in training future civic leaders by gathering students, scholars, and resources in a space of contemplation and practice (National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, 2012)), the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life (Tisch College) at Tufts University partnered with the School of Engineering and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) to implement an engineering faculty training to assist instructors with infusing civic education into several courses. Details are provided of the structure of the multi-stage professional development, which included (1) a summer faculty retreat filled with interactive skill-building exercises, group discussions, and conversations around civic engagement, (2) in-person small group and individualized “office hours” the faculty could attend with content experts from both Tisch College and the CEEO, (3) on-going virtual support for the faculty to assist with course redesign and curricular modifications, and (4) in semester cohort meetings for sharing best practices, highlighting successes, and dynamically addressing faculty needs as they arose.

With five separate instructors (who all teach individual engineering courses around different content) participating, a qualitative evaluation of the success of the professional development (and the impact on the students, looking across the different courses and the variety of implementations and strategies) is detailed, leveraging the individual faculty reflections and interviews. This paper highlights the faculty-identified successes and barriers to including civic topics in engineering content courses, and explores the levels to which the professional development as designed and implemented was able to appropriately prepare this cohort of engineering faculty for the inclusion of civic engagement in their courses. It also details the future modifications and changes the authors propose based on these findings, and suggestions for how the program can be replicated and scaled (both internally at Tufts University to other faculty within the School of Engineering, as well as to other interested institutions).

Preferred presentation style is oral presentation.

References: Thomas, N., & Brower, M. (2017). Politics 365: Fostering campus climates for student political learning and engagement. Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines, 361. National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. (2012). A crucible moment: College learning and democracy's future.

Sklarwitz, S., & Danahy, E. E., & de Guzman, P., & Lyford, F. W., & Nierenberg, M., & Thomas, N., & Woznica, M. (2019, June), Board 80: Preparing Engineering Faculty for Inclusion of Civic Engagement in Curriculum Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32435

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015