June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Community Engagement Division
24.292.1 - 24.292.10
Community Engagement in a First-Year Engineering Communication Course: Increasing Student Numbers from Handfuls to Hundreds.Engaging first-year engineering students in their mandatory first term communication course canbe a challenge when some may not yet understand how these communication skills will be usedin their day-to-day professional interactions. However, adding a real client with real needswhere the students’ work can have real impact adds immediacy and interest. To those ends, acommunity service learning team proposal project was created in 2011 for 60 students of a firstterm, first-year engineering writing course, which is a part of a common first-year engineeringcurriculum. In this assignment, students had the opportunity to practice the communicationskills required for engineering through team fundraising proposals and presentations for localnot-for-profit organizations. A proposed idea from one student team was implemented by thecommunity organization the following summer. The not-for-profit used the idea to raise over$18,000, and it has since become one of their annual fundraising events.After the success of the first iteration of the project, it was offered to all 220 incoming first-yearengineering students in 2012. The 2012 iteration of the team proposal project marked the firsttime that an entire cohort of students was able to participate in community service learning inany discipline at that small university campus. The team proposal project was offered again in2013.There are multiple considerations for this type of project in terms of logistics and sustainability,especially for yearly participation of 220 students in this project. This paper will discuss thestrategies involved in adapting a community service learning project originally designed for 60students to a larger scale project for 220 students while maintaining the academic robustness ofthe proposal assignment and the good will of the partnering community organizations.
Patterson, L. M. (2014, June), Community Engagement in a First-Year Engineering Communication Course: Increasing Student Numbers from Handfuls to Hundreds. Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20183
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