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Engineering School, Life Balance, And The Student Experience

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Knowing Our Students I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

11.573.1 - 11.573.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/568

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

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Heidi Loshbaugh Colorado School of Mines

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HEIDI G. LOSHBAUGH is an Assistant Research Professor for the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education at Colorado School of Mines. She holds a Doctorate, Master’s Degree, and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver. Dr. Loshbaugh taught in CSM’s Engineering Design program, for which she developed extensive course and faculty-support materials, and designed and implemented a leadership course. She also has experience in international education, corporate training and coaching, and academic editing.

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Tawni Hoeglund Colorado School of Mines

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TAWNI J. HOEGLUND is a Research Associate with the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education at Colorado School of Mines. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University. Dr. Hoeglund practiced as a counselor in CSM's campus Student Services division before joining the CAEE to develop applications for the study's Mixed-Methods approach to gaining understanding of the undergraduate engineering experience.

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Ruth Streveler Colorado School of Mines

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RUTH A. STREVELER is the Director of the Center for Engineering Education at the Colorado School of Mines and Research Associate Professor in Academic Affairs. Dr. Streveler holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Master of Science in Zoology from the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Indiana University at Bloomington. She is co-principle investigator of three NSF-sponsored projects: Developing an Outcomes Assessment Instrument for Identifying Engineering Student Misconceptions in Thermal and Transport Sciences (DUE - 0127806), Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (ESI-0227558), and Rigorous Research in Engineering Education: Creating a Community of Practice (DUE-0341127).

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Kimberley Breaux

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KIMBERLEY R. BREAUX has collaborated with CSM in the Academic Pathways Study as an ethnographer and interviewer. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration in Accounting, Finance, and International Business from Regis University, Denver, a Bachelor of Arts in Science and Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia, and is completing a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, from Regis. She has extensive corporate experience in finance and human services.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Engineering School, Life Balance, and the Student Experience

Abstract

Students who pursue engineering undergraduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-intensive (STEM) institutions experience imbalance unlike most other undergraduates in co-educational institutions. The curricular demands on those enrolled are particularly intense and focused, leaving little opportunity for pursuits aside from studies. [1] As engineering education seeks to broaden its enrollment, it becomes important to better understand the student experience. This paper explores the question: What is the role of life balance in satisfaction and persistence of engineering students?

Our data indicate that engineering students have a desire for more balance than their academic environment will allow. If engineering education wants not only to recruit but to retain a larger population, it must find ways to expand its offerings and climate conditions to meet the needs of those who could be good engineering students and practicing engineers if provided the right environment and opportunities to maintain balanced lives in engineering college.

Introduction

Students who pursue engineering undergraduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-intensive (STEM) institutions experience imbalance unlike most other undergraduates in co-educational institutions. The curricular demands on those enrolled are particularly intense and focused. [1] Students tend to be highly academically oriented and need to be: if a student plans to graduate in four years, there is little opportunity for varying from the prescribed path. The high credit loads per term often range from sixteen to twenty-two hours, and course content is both technical and challenging. This paper explores the question: What is the role of life balance in satisfaction and persistence of engineering students?

The Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) seeks to understand undergraduate engineering students’ experiences as they navigate curricula, institutions, and pre- professional expectations. The Academic Pathways Study (APS) component of CAEE focuses on the research goals of understanding and enhancing the engineering student’s learning experience. [2] APS explores four areas: Skills, Identity, Education, and Workplace; this paper focuses on Education. The research questions guiding our inquiry are

How do pre-engineering and engineering students navigate their educations? What elements of students’ engineering educations contribute to changes observed in their skills and identity? What do students find difficult and how do they deal with the difficulties they face?

Methods

APS’ Mixed-Methods approach includes surveys, structured and unstructured interviews, performance tasks, and ethnographic observations, as well as examination of academic records

Loshbaugh, H., & Hoeglund, T., & Streveler, R., & Breaux, K. (2006, June), Engineering School, Life Balance, And The Student Experience Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/568

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: © 2006 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