Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Community Engagement Division
Exposing pre-college students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities and undergraduate college students to service learning have both been linked to increased interest and participation in STEM careers. This study investigates the use of the Writing Partners program as an intervention to increase college students’ intentions to persist in the major and increase K-12 students’ awareness and understanding of engineering. The Writing Partners (WP) program consists of college students exchanging letters with a local 5th or 6th grade student twice over the course of a semester, culminating in a campus visit for the elementary students. This research centers around the potential impacts of the WP program, addressing the following research questions: How does the WP intervention affect: 1) college students’ intentions to persist in an engineering major? 2) college students’ understanding of engineering professions? 3) elementary school students’ understanding of the engineering professions? 4) elementary school students' intentions to attend college? 5) elementary school students’ intentions to major in engineering? Finally, these potential impacts will be examined for demographic differences, including sex, underrepresented minority students, low-income, and first-generation students. Pre- and post-surveys for the college and elementary students using elements from existing surveys with strong evidence of reliability and validity were used to address intentions to persist in an engineering major and understanding of the engineering profession. The exchanged letters were also coded and used to address understanding of the engineering profession. Programs like this, connecting college students to K-12 students, could be used by other departments and universities to engage diverse populations to pursue engineering majors and careers.
Fogarty, J., & Canney, N. E., & Fell, B. V. (2020, June), Effect of Letter Exchange Program on Student Development, Persistence, and Interest in Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34495
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