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Despite their potential to support and enhance technology education and career goals, little is known about what makes community college technology internships effective for student participation, learning, degree completion, and the transition to technology employment. This study fills these gaps with case study research on technology internships at two Florida community colleges. In this research we explore, engineering and information technology internship structure; participation; and outcomes on program persistence, program completion, and self-efficacy in future technology and career engagement. Our case study research draws from both qualitative and quantitative data from a range of perspectives including students, faculty/administrators and employers who provided the internships. Findings show that credit-bearing technology internships prepared students to be successful in technology careers, strengthened student self-efficacy and confidence towards their technology education and career goals, and provided a bridge from education to employment. Because these findings cut across gender, race, and ethnicity, the research suggests that credit bearing internships have the potential to broaden participation in technology careers. Despite their effectiveness, however, very few students who enrolled in a technology program participated. This is mainly because most students leave college before earning enough credit to participate in an internship for credit. For those who completed a degree, they were not likely to participate in an internship unless it was required for graduation.
Joy, L., & Yisrael, N. (2022, August), Building Effective Community College Engineering and Information Technology Internships Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41908
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