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Engagement in Practice: Scaling Community-based Design Experiences

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engagement in Practice: Creating a Robust Infrastructure for Community Engagement

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


William C. Oakes Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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William (Bill) Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program and one of the founding faculty members of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has held courtesy appointments in Mechanical, Environmental and Ecological Engineering as well as Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. He is a registered professional engineer and on the NSPE board for Professional Engineers in Higher Education. He has been active in ASEE serving in the FPD, CIP and ERM. He is the past chair of the IN/IL section. He is a fellow of the Teaching Academy and listed in the Book of Great Teachers at Purdue University. He was the first engineering faculty member to receive the national Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. He was a co-recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers’ Educational Excellence Award and the ASEE Chester Carlson Award. He is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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Andrew Pierce Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)


Nusaybah Abu-Mulaweh Purdue University

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Nusaybah Abu-Mulaweh is a Continuing Lecturer in the Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) Program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She received her Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering from Purdue University Fort Wayne, and received her Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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XXXX is a curricular approach to engagement involving undergraduates in the development, design, delivery and support of technology-based solutions to meet needs in the local and global communities. XXXX co-develops and implements solutions with community partners using a human-centered design approach, actively engaging stakeholders in every stage. Since the creation of the program in 1995, over 400 projects have been delivered ranging from software that allows agencies to coordinate services and protect privacy, to a constructed wetland that purifies agricultural runoff, to an iPad app that helps children with autism communicate, to a new school in rural Ecuador, or an accessible camp for children with disabilities. XXXX is institutionalized and sustained with recurring funds, faculty teaching credit, corporate support and courses counting for credit within every college in the university. The program has been recognized by the NAE, ASEE, Campus Compact, IEEE and others for its impact in education and community engagement. The program has grown to enroll over 1100 students per year working on 147 projects impacting 83,111 people directly and 447,983 indirectly. This growth includes a doubling in enrollment over the last seven years and a change in the distribution of students as more first and second year students have been integrated into the design teams. These changes have created opportunities and challenges. The curricular processes that were used for the first two decades of the program have been redesigned to accommodate the growth of the program. This paper will discuss the current approaches and challenges that scaling has provided. It will include a comparison in student and community evaluations as well as samples of student reflections.

Oakes, W. C., & Pierce, A., & Abu-Mulaweh, N. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Scaling Community-based Design Experiences Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30376

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