New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Two Year College Division
Access to lower-division engineering courses in the community college substantially influences whether or not community college students pursue and successfully achieve an engineering degree. With about 60% of students from under-represented minority (URM) groups beginning their post-secondary education in the community colleges, providing this access is critical if the US is to diversify and expand its engineering workforce. Still many community college lack the faculty, equipment, or local expertise to offer a comprehensive transfer engineering program, thus compromising participation in engineering courses for underrepresented groups as well as for students residing in rural and remote areas, where distance is a key barrier to post-secondary enrollment. An additional obstacle to participation is the need for so many community college students to work, many in inflexible positions that compromise their ability to attend traditional face-to-face courses. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program (NSF IUSE), three community colleges from Northern California collaborated to increase the availability and accessibility of the engineering curriculum by developing resources and teaching strategies to enable small-to-medium community college engineering programs to support a comprehensive set of lower-division engineering courses that are delivered either completely online, or with limited face-to-face interactions. This paper focuses on the development and testing of the teaching and learning resources for Introduction to Engineering, a three-unit course (two units of lecture and one unit of lab). The course has special significance as a gateway course for students who without the role models that their middle class peers so often have readily available enter college with very limited awareness of the exciting projects and fulfilling careers the engineering profession offers as well as with apprehension about their ability to succeed in a demanding STEM curriculum. To this end, the course covers academic success skills in engineering including mindset and metacognition, academic pathways, career awareness and job functions in the engineering profession, team building and communications, the engineering design process, and a broad range of fundamental and engaging topics and projects in engineering including electronics, basic test equipment, programming in MATLAB and Arduino, robotics, bridge design, and materials science. The paper presents the results of a pilot implementation of the teaching materials in a regular face-to-face course which will be used to inform subsequent on-line delivery. Additionally, student surveys and interviews are used to assess students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the course resources, along with their sense of self-efficacy and identity as aspiring engineers.
Langhoff, N. P., & Schiorring, E., & Dunmire, E. N., & Rebold, T., & Huang, T. (2016, June), Developing a Comprehensive Online Transfer Engineering Curriculum: Designing an Online Introduction to Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26715
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