New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
College Industry Partnerships
There is a persistent dialogue among academic and industrial stakeholders regarding the ability of students to transition into full-time engineering positions in industry. Academia-industry partnerships are often leveraged to address issues related to this topic. Yet conversations about career readiness of graduates, skills required for early career success, and high attrition rates of early career engineers in the first five years continue. Professional socialization is one lens that can be used to explore how academia-industry partnerships can make a positive contribution to the conversation. Professional socialization refers to the process whereby a student acquires knowledge, gains experience to develop needed skills, and adopts engineering professional values that lead to a successful start in an engineering focused industry career (Weidman, Twale, & Stein, 2001). We consider that a gap between a student’s skills upon graduation and skills required for entering a particular industry position, leads some early career engineers to leave industry positions. Such gaps in professional socialization pose challenges to the academic and industrial stakeholders that work to connect engineering students to the engineering industry pathway.
Current literature highlights the work of national committees and discipline specific reports that identify skills students need in the future workforce, stress the need for academia and industry to assume joint responsibility, and recommend stakeholders collaborate to ensure that engineering students acquire these skills. However, few recommendations have been made regarding how academia-industry partnerships can be structured to best address the specific challenges associated with a student’s professional socialization.
In this paper, we leverage an existing academia-industry partnership program structure to illustrate how partnerships can move beyond just writing a check to support successful student transitions to industry. We present a model for creating new and improving existing partnerships that are designed to be student centered and support professional socialization. Similar approaches in partnering may lead to increased career readiness, narrowing the skill gap between graduation and entering into industry, and reducing attrition of engineers in the first five years on the engineering industry pathway. Academic stakeholders make advances through improved curriculum and tailored student experiences. While, in turn, industry stakeholders complete project deliverables and simultaneously train the future engineering workforce.
Young, G. D., & Knight, D. B., & Warburton, L. M., & Ciechon, C. D. (2016, June), Developing Student-centered Partnerships: Professional Socialization and the Transition to Industry Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26774
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