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Development of a Training Workshop for Undergraduate Mentor TAs in an Introductory Engineering Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Integrating Teaching Assistants, Tenure-track, and Non-tenure-track Faculty into a Cohesive Department

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Tanya Kunberger P.E. Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Kunberger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Kunberger received her B.C.E. and certificate in Geochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Soil Science from North Carolina State University. Her areas of specialization are geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering. Educational areas of interest are self-efficacy and persistence in engineering and development of an interest in STEM topics in K-12 students.

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Chris Geiger Florida Gulf Coast University

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Chris Geiger is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering in the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1999 and 2003, respectively, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1996.

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Jackie Greene Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Jackie Greene is Assistant Director of the Lucas Center for Faculty Development at Florida Gulf Coast University. She worked in faculty development during her career with public schools, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and in her current position. She is involved with the SPARCT Program as a member of the planning committee and she analyzes the qualitative data for program review and assessment purposes.
Dr. Greene received her degrees from Kent State University and Florida Gulf Coast University.

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Over the past three years, faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University have re-envisioned the freshman-level introductory engineering course required by multiple programs in the College of Engineering [Kunberger and Geiger, 2015, Kunberger, Geiger and Reycraft, 2016]. One aspect, the addition of Mentor TAs, was intended to develop informal near-peer mentor experiences, considered a “practice-based” mentoring initiative [Packard, 2016]. These students would serve not only as a traditional TA in providing feedback on course deliverables, but would also serve as a mentor within this first course in engineering in order to increase retention and promote a more inclusive culture in the college. The most recent evolution of the introductory engineering course added a summer training workshop for course Mentor TAs. This 30-hour workshop took place over a one-week period in the summer and included both face-to-face and online components. Topic coverage fell into one of three main categories: 1) university employment expectations, 2) course logistics and expectations, and 3) effective interactions between Mentor TAs and students enrolled in the course. Workshop effectiveness was evaluated through a mixed method approach including the use of pre and post workshop surveys and end of the semester focus group discussions with students serving as Mentor TAs as well as post course surveys of course-enrolled students. A complete discussion of the developed workshop and the future direction of the program is also included.

Kunberger, T., & Geiger, C., & Greene, J. (2017, June), Development of a Training Workshop for Undergraduate Mentor TAs in an Introductory Engineering Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28164

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