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Development of Industry Modules for Engineers Pursuing Advanced Degrees

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Future Career and Professional Success for Graduate Students

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.425.1 - 24.425.11



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Paper Authors

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Janie McClurkin Purdue University, West Lafayette


Velvet Fitzpatrick Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Velvet Fitzpatrick is a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is the graduate professional assistant to the associate dean of graduate education and interdisciplinary programs in the College of Engineering. In 2007, Velvet received her B.S.C.E. from Prairie View A&M University. She earned her M.S.C.E. from Purdue University in 2009.

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from the University of South Dakota and her M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University. Her current research interests include graduate-level engineering education, including inter- and multidisciplinary graduate education, innovative and novel graduate education experiences, global learning, and preparation of graduate students for future careers.

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Monica F. Cox, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the School of Engineering Education and the inaugural director of the College of Engineering’s leadership minor at Purdue University. She also serves as the executive director of the International Institute for Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a). She obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in leadership and policy studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Her teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in STEM education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of graduate students for diverse careers and the development of reliable and valid engineering education assessment tools. She is a NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient.

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Cyndi Lynch Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Cyndi Lynch is the director of fellowships and graduate student professional development for the Purdue Graduate School. Ms. Lynch is a registered veterinary technician, focusing on animal behavior. Her research focuses on doctoral student engagement and assessment of doctoral student learning outcomes in identified best practices, including mentoring, developing effective writing strategies, recruitment, retention, and transition courses, and doctoral student professional development. Ms. Lynch instructs Purdue’s Preparing Future Faculty course and the Preparing Future Professionals course.

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Development of Industry Modules for Engineers Pursuing Advanced DegreesGraduate engineering programs largely aim to prepare students for careers in academia.Programs emphasize research, academic publishing, and leadership in relevant nationalorganizations. As a result, engineering students tend to develop professional skills relevant toacademia regardless of their career interests outside of academia. Engineering industryemployers recognize this gap, which may impact their perceptions when interviewing applicantswith advanced engineering degrees. Graduate students with interest in industry careers needalternate resources to learn necessary skills. In this paper, online learning modules are designedfor the engineering graduate student population with special emphases on industry-specificskills. The objectives of this paper are to translate empirical findings about students’professional skills into the models framed into a LEADER framework, which will guidestudents as they complete modules that align with their knowledge of specific professionaltopics. The elements of the LEADER framework are as follows:• Locate in which students identify their existing perceptions and experiences• Evaluate in which students informally assess their views• Absorb where students learn formal, preexisting knowledge• Demonstrate where students apply content in actionable ways• Evolve in which students communicate how they will apply content in their career and professional development, and• Reflect such that students process and summarize their thoughts.This paper presents the development of a series of modules to help graduate students developknowledge, skills, and attributes to prepare them for their professional position. Future studieswill discuss the findings from piloted learning modules.

McClurkin, J., & Fitzpatrick, V., & Berdanier, C. G., & Cox, M. F., & Lynch, C. (2014, June), Development of Industry Modules for Engineers Pursuing Advanced Degrees Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20316

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015