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Development of a Mentorship Program in Engineering and Engineering Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Community Engagement in Engineering Education Projects

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.523.1 - 26.523.12



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Paper Authors


Sudhir Kaul Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Kaul is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include Fracture Diagnostics, Structural Dynamics and Control, and Motorcycle Dynamics.

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Guanghsu A. Chang Western Carolina University

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Dr. Guanghsu A. Chang, Western Carolina University -
Dr. Chang is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University. He has spent the last 21 years in teaching industrial and manufacturing engineering programs. He earned his MSIE, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests include robotic applications, manufacturing automation, Design for Assembly (DFA), and Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) applications. He was a vice president of Southern Minnesota APICS (2009-2012) and faculty advisor of APICS student chapter at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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Paul M. Yanik Western Carolina University


Chip W. Ferguson Western Carolina University

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Chip Ferguson is the Associate Dean of the Kimmel School and Associate Professor of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University.

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Development of a Mentorship Program in Engineering and Engineering TechnologyThis paper discusses feasible means of integrating mentorship programs into engineering andengineering technology curricula. The two main motivations for investigating the development ofsuch programs are to improve retention rates and to augment the efforts toward increasing theenrollment of minority students.1 In fact, it can be argued that a mentorship program can alsoindirectly assist in the achievement of critical student outcomes for accreditation.2 The model ofmentorship presented in this paper involves a vertical integration of cohorts through a series ofproject-based learning (PBL) courses. Furthermore, this attempt is enhanced by the introductionof incentives that encourage student involvement in undergraduate research as well as on-campusengineering organizations. The specific focus of the mentorship is on student-student relationshipsin addition to the conventional faculty-student relationships. These relationships allow students tolearn from each other since they are able to strongly relate to each other’s experiences among theirpeer group. The mentoring model proposed in this paper formulates a learning communityallowing the student to form a support group and a mechanism for preventive intervention, asdiscussed in other studies on mentoring programs.3 Such student engagement is commonlyacknowledged to significantly benefit the students as well as the mentors involved in the program.4Data from an initial student survey that measures the efficacy of the proposed mentorship programis included in this paper and these data are discussed in detail. The group size of the mentorshipcohort has been limited to a maximum of thirty students at this stage. An outline of a long termstudy to determine the effectiveness of the proposed program is also discussed.[1] Marra, R. M., Rodgers, K. A., Shen, D., Bogue, B., 2012, “Leaving Engineering: A Multi-YearSingle Institutional Study,” Journal of Engineering Education, 101, pp. 6-27.[2] ABET, Engineering Accreditation Commission, 2010, “Criteria for Accrediting EngineeringPrograms,” ABET Inc, Baltimore, MD.[3] DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C., Cooper, H., 2002, “Effectiveness ofMentoring Programs for Youth: A Meta-Analytic Review,” American Journal of CommunityPsychology, 30, pp. 157-197.[4] Allen, T. D., Eby, L. T., 2003, “Relationship Effectiveness for Mentors: Factors Associatedwith Learning and Quality,” Journal of Management, 29, pp. 469-486.

Kaul, S., & Chang, G. A., & Yanik, P. M., & Ferguson, C. W. (2015, June), Development of a Mentorship Program in Engineering and Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23862

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