June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.306.1 - 8.306.13
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS FOR ASCE STUDENT CHAPTERS
Mark D. Evans and Denise M. Evans United States Military Academy, West Point, NY
Community service projects allow chapter members to serve the community, develop leadership skills, interact with professional civil engineers, and hone their own engineering skills on real- world projects. Students perform the role of consultant, corporate president, fund-raiser, project manager, designer, draftsperson, and construction worker. Community service gives students the opportunity to practice their civil engineering skills outside the classroom in “real life” environments. Involved students will acquire more project management experience working on these projects than can be learned in any classroom. Participants are called upon to explore his or her abilities and talents and to communicate ideas logically. Students who can motivate volunteers from start to finish have had a rare opportunity to develop important leadership skills. Chapter members involved in community service cultivate a deep-rooted sense of commitment, not just to the chapter and its members, but also to the community. The “esprit de corps” that results within the chapter is long lasting and is extremely attractive to other students who then want to participate; consequently, the success of the chapter becomes self-fulfilling. Community service projects are key activities for ASCE student chapters, contributing greatly to the education of civil engineering students who participate actively 1, 2, 3. In this paper, the student chapter advisor, chapter leaders, and members will learn proven strategies for conceiving, organizing, and running successful student chapter-lead community service projects.
Value of Community Service
The objectives of a successful ASCE Student chapter are successfully reached through the undertaking of community service projects 4, 5. Community service gives students the opportunity to practice their civil engineering skills outside the classroom in a “real life” environment. Student members should voluntarily accept responsibility for seeing these projects through from beginning to end without receiving any academic credit. Each person can strengthen his or her ability to evaluate situations and set priorities since there often is no entirely right or entirely wrong solution to problems concerning clients, peers, time management, and construction methods. The students will acquire more project management experience working on these projects than can be learned in a classroom. Each participant is called upon to explore his or her abilities and talents and to communicate ideas logically. Most importantly, chapter members involved in community service cultivate a deep-rooted sense of commitment, not just to the Chapter and its members, but also to the community.
The benefits to both the individual members and to the Chapter are enormous. Few activities are so effective in helping students develop leadership skills as the community service project. Students perform the role of consultant, corporate president, fund-raiser, project manager,
“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”
Evans, M. (2003, June), Community Service Projects For Asce Student Chapters Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12350
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