Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Cooperative and Experiential Education
This paper presented the early results of a study to measure the transformation of engineering students as they matriculate through the curriculum at the University, which has a required co-op program consisting of a three semester-long co-op rotation. For data collection, TTI’s TriMetrix® DNA assessment suite was used. The TTI survey is designed to increase the understanding of an individual's talents in three distinct areas: competencies, driving forces and behavioral traits. The survey was first administered to incoming freshmen students (within four weeks of entering college) and then again at the beginning of junior year after the students have completed two co-op rotations. A pairwise longitudinal comparison was conducted on twenty engineering students (14 males and 6 females with 5 of the students being from underrepresented minorities) that took the survey as freshmen in Fall 2017 and then again as juniors in Fall 2019. The study revealed significant changes in the behavioral traits of the individuals in the 20-student sample, but the changes did not exhibit discernable patterns and could not be reliably correlated with elements of the co-op experience. Regardless, the observed behavioral traits have proven valuable in mentoring students and directing them towards the type of work that they are best suited for. As for the changes in competencies (25 competencies in total), there was a marked increase in fifteen competencies (over 10%) including a very large increase (over 25%) in four competencies: conceptual thinking; decision making; futuristic thinking; and, self-starting. There was also a decrease in four competencies: appreciating others; conflict management; goal orientation; and, interpersonal skills. After correlating these changes with the co-op reflection essays of the twenty students, a statistical correlation was found between the decrease in the “conflict management” competency and the severity of conflicts reported by the students during co-op. This finding raises the possibility that impressionable engineering students could be susceptible when faced with difficult conflicts while on co-op. Additional measures such as engaging co-op employers on the subject and monitoring the well-being of the students while on co-op are needed. There was little or no correlation between the severity of conflict and the other three decreased competencies.
Rayess, N. E., & Pistrui, D., & Bonnstetter, R., & Gehrig, E. T. (2020, June), Co-op Education and the Impact on the Behaviors and Competencies of Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34294
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