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Enhancing The Undergraduate Experience For Advanced Education And Research Careers

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.569.1 - 9.569.5



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Paper Authors

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Austin Cheney

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Heather Brown

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

Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience for Advanced Education and Research Careers

Brown, H.J. and Cheney, A.

Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN


Undergraduate research has been determined at many academic institutions and funding agencies as a focal point for quality education (NSF 1996). Integrating research has become an essential element in developing students for technical service careers and advanced degrees. The industry professionals hiring students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the recent graduating seniors expressed a need for high level training of laboratory quality control and technical research. The skills necessary for graduates to become lab managers, research consultants, or graduate students were touched upon in sophomore fundamentals lab but long forgotten by graduation. Actions were taken within the curriculum that can serve as a model for other institutions to follow when considering active undergraduate research programs and the benefits therein.

Steps taken in the curriculum included development of a Senior Concrete Laboratory which included 1) industry collaboration 2) multidisciplinary collaboration 3) technical writing and presentations and 4) laboratory certifications. Industry collaboration allowed for numerous small studies for the benefit of both company and student. Multidisciplinary collaboration utilized the resources of the entire college campus bringing departments together in a research setting. The opportunity for students to further enhance their technical writing and presenting was important to their development. To further foster the development and career opportunities, industry recognized laboratory certifications were offered to the senior students. Faculty mentoring and guidance was made available to properly use the experience as a career builder and advancing knowledge as well as tackling real world problems. (Stier 1996) Students experience effective communication, action learning, problem solving and improved skills for the modern workplace. The end result can and will be higher level training of students to pursue advanced education and research careers. (Abudayyeh 2003)

Cheney, A., & Brown, H. (2004, June), Enhancing The Undergraduate Experience For Advanced Education And Research Careers Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13850

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