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Engineering Faculty Attitudes Towards Service-learning

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.545.1 - 25.545.19



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Paper Authors


Emmanuelle Reynaud University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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E. Reynaud is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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John J. Duffy University of Massachusetts, Lowell


Linda Barrington University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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As the Engineering Service-Learning Coordinator, Linda Barrington, B.S.M.E., M.B.A., serves as a faculty resource to identify community needs, facilitate community partnerships, and provide logistical support in service-learning projects imbedded into required engineering courses. Last academic year, she supported 22 faculty in 35 courses to provide more than 1,600 S-L experiences for engineering students with 25 community partners.

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Julianne Lee Rhoads


David O. Kazmer University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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David Kazmer is a currently serving as the Associate Dean for the Francis College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Much of his teaching and research is motivated by industry experiences as an engineer and manager. He is the recipient of more than a dozen different recognition awards, an inventor with more than 20 patents, and the author of more than 200 publications, including two books.

His teaching and research are in the areas of systems design, simulation, and optimization with a focus on machinery, sensors, and controls.

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Bowa George Tucker University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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Bowa G. Tucker has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His dissertation research, "Uncovering the Civic Dimensions of Service-Learning in Higher Education," focused on how faculty members integrate civic learning into their service-learning courses. Currently, he is a Research Fellow in the College of Engineering working on two National Science Foundation grants at UMass-Lowell (Engineering for the Common Good, and Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning through Service). He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Political Science.

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Engineering Faculty Attitudes Towards Service-LearningSLICE (Service Learning Integrated throughout a College of Engineering) is a college ofengineering-wide program running since 2004, thanks to the support of grants from the NationalScience Foundation. The program aims at offering at least one service-learning (S-L) project persemester to every student in every department at a medium-sized college of engineering at a stateuniversity.Throughout the development of this program, faculty members have been surveyed annuallyregarding both their conception of S-L and the impact of S-L on their teaching. We are reportinghere on the results of the 2011 surveys, 7 years after the program implementation.The latest survey includes the responses of 37 participants, amongst which 6 female (16.2%) and12 untenured (33.3%) faculty members. Those represent roughly half of the college ofengineering faculty population. Amongst those surveyed, 25.7% have never tried S-L and do notplan to try it in the next year; 40% have tried it at least once and do not plan to use it in the nextyear, leaving 34.3% that have and will continue to use S-L in their classroom. For thedifferentiation analysis, the faculty members who have not tried S-L have been filtered out.The faculty in general who responded to the survey are in significantly positive agreement ingeneral to S-L and its effects on the students and the community in 18 out of 22 questions on thesurvey even though some of them have never tried S-L. Perceived barriers to implementing S-Lhave consistently included faculty and course time.The female faculty is in higher agreement in general than its male counterpart on the principle ofS-L being integrated throughout the curriculum. Of statistically significant difference betweenfemale and male faculty are more positive agreement on a Likert scale that S-L projects can meetcourse learning objectives and that S-L projects should be available every semester for everyundergraduate student. The results regarding the impact of S-L on teaching were statistically nondifferent between male and female faculty.The tenure status did not affect agreement in principle of S-L. The most significant differenceswith respect to tenure status lay on the impacts of S-L on teaching. Untenured faculty membersare using more student-led projects in their teaching than tenure colleagues, they spent more timelecturing and they see their personal commitment to improving the community increases throughS-L.The biggest barriers for implementing S-L into courses are the ones related to time andworkload, as has been found in the past. Female faculty as well as untenured faculty rank facultytime as the most important barrier, when male faculty as well as tenure faculty rank class time asthe highest issue.

Reynaud, E., & Duffy, J. J., & Barrington, L., & Rhoads, J. L., & Kazmer, D. O., & Tucker, B. G. (2012, June), Engineering Faculty Attitudes Towards Service-learning Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21303

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