Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
NSF Grantees Poster Session
This article describes the process through which engineering undergraduate students determine whether to participate in cooperative education programs, including how institutional factors influence their decisions. This study proposes a framework for understanding how students envision their career trajectory and continuing professional development. Qualitative data collected from 44 engineering sophomore students reveal that the decision making approaches entails consideration of two main factors: (1) logistics of the co-op program intersected with academic responsibilities, and (2) social influences including input from family, friends, and administrators and employers involved in the co-op placement process. Considering these factors, students’ choices involve how they envision their professional trjaectories. A conceptual framework is proposed which represent four broad personas: Explorer (seeks breadth of experiences), Reinforcer (seeks depth of experiences), Explorer/Reinforcer hybrids, and undecideds that illustrate the decision making process and factors. Stakeholders, including co-op employers and co-op administrators, can apply the findings to develop strategies to encourage students to participate in work experiences that best fits their career development approaches.
Main, J. B., & Ramirez, N., & Schimpf, C. T. (2018, June), Board 93: Student Career Decision Making Approaches and Development of Professional Engineering Trajectories Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30140
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