June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
24.623.1 - 24.623.10
Fostering 21st Century Skills in Engineering Undergraduates: A Co- Curricular and Extracurricular Development FrameworkAs engineering institutions attempt to prepare their students for today’s global, cross-disciplinaryworkplace, incorporation of 21st century “soft” skills into classroom-based engineering educationhas become the practice of many colleges and universities in the United States and elsewhere.While this method may prove effective in many cases, this paper presents an alternativeapproach to fostering these skills in engineering education: student skill development through co-curricular and extracurricular involvement. For this analysis, we focus on undergraduateengineering education, as we ground our framework in the existing student affairs literature onthe benefits of student involvement. While this literature thoroughly examines the benefits ofco-curricular and extracurricular engagement on the wide community of undergraduates, fewexisting studies examine the impact of this phenomenon through an engineering education lens.The purpose of this research is to create a framework categorizing how specific types of studentinvolvement – such as engagement in the arts, athletics, or student government organizations –can impact competency development in undergraduate engineering students. To accomplish thisgoal, this paper draws upon an extensive review of student involvement literature to develop aframework of the skills and attributes developed through specific categories of undergraduate co-curricular and extracurricular involvement.The connection of this framework to the practical requirements of engineering education isvalidated through interview data collected from supervisors of entry-level engineering graduates.Based on this validation analysis, 19 skills and attributes relevant to engineering education andpractice are shown to be developed through co-curricular and extracurricular involvement at theundergraduate level; based on these findings, the authors propose recommendations foradministratiors at undergraduate technical institutions regarding expanded support of co-curricular and extracurricular activities for undergraduate engineering students.
Fisher, D. R., & Bagiati, A., & Sarma, S. E. (2014, June), Fostering 21st Century Skills in Engineering Undergraduates through Co-Curricular Involvement Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20514
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