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From Defense to Degree: Accelerating Engineering Degree Opportunities for Military Veterans

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

22.729.1 - 22.729.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18010

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

biography

David L. Soldan Kansas State University

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David L. Soldan is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University. He recently spent a sabbatical at the United States Naval Academy serving as the ONR Distinguished Chair for Science and Technology. He served as Head of the KSU ECE Department from 1989 to 2004. As a member of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities from 1999 to 2007 he was active in new program evaluator training and new evaluator mentoring. He was a member of the ABET Engineering Accreditation Committee from 2003 to 2010 and served as an Executive Committee member from 2007 to 2010. He has served on the IEEE Education Society Adcom and has been the IEEE Computer Society representative to the Frontiers in Education Conference Steering Committee. He served as FIE Co-Program Chair in 1995 and 1998. Soldan served as President of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association in 2002-03. He chaired the Computer Engineering Curriculum Committee of the Joint IEEE Computer Society/ACM Computing Curriculum Taskforce that published the first model curriculum for computer engineering in 2005. The Computer Society recognized this with an Outstanding Contribution Award.
Dr. Soldan is a Fellow of IEEE and a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is the faculty advisor to Eta Kappa Nu and the trustee of the Kansas State University Amateur Radio Club. He served on the Eta Kappa Nu Board of Governors from 2006–09. He received the 2006 Robert M. Janowiak Outstanding Leadership and Service Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association. In 2008 he received the IEEE Education Society Distinguished Member Award. In 2009 he received the ASEE Electrical and Computer Engineering Division Meritorious Service Award.

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Noel N. Schulz Kansas State University

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Noel N. Schulz received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E.
degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University (Virginia Tech) in 1988 and 1990, respectively.
She received her Ph.D. in EE from the University
of Minnesota in 1995. She is currently working
as Paslay Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
at Kansas State University. She has served as
a faculty member at Mississippi State University and
Michigan Tech in the past. Her research interests are
in computer applications in power system operation
including artificial intelligence techniques. She has
been active in the IEEE Power and Energy Society, currently serving as President-Elect. She has served as IEEE/PES Secretary and Treasurer as well. She is recipient of the IEEE/PES Walter Fee Outstanding Young Power Engineer Award and NSF CAREER award. Dr. Schulz is a member of IEEE, ASEE, SWE, Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.

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Blythe A. Vogt Kansas State University

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Mrs. Vogt joined the faculty in Architectural Engineering & Construction Science and Management at Kansas State University in January 2008. She received her B.S.A.E. from K-State in 2001 and completed her M.S.A.E. from K-State in 2010 related to Curriculum Development in Architectural Engineering and Construction Science with regards to Building Information Modeling. Mrs. Vogt is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an emphasis in Engineering Education/Outreach under the supervision of Dr. Noel Schulz. During 2001-2008, Mrs. Vogt was employed full time with a large scale national engineering consulting firm in Madison, WI where she held several roles including: project manager, project engineer, commissioning agent, conference speaker, and business development/marketing liaison. She also collaborated with the University of Wisconsin – Construction Engineering & Management as an adjunct faculty, teaching one course each fall semester related to building systems (2002 - 2007). Mrs. Vogt was awarded the 2008 National Electrical Contractors Association Faculty Award for her instruction and mentoring of construction science students.

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Don Gruenbacher Kansas State University

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Don Gruenbacher is an Associate Professor and Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University. In addition to administrative responsibilities and research, he continues to teach courses in networking and digital design. His research interests include computer networks, wireless communications, and digital design. Prior to joining K-State he was a member of the senior staff at the Applied Physics Laboratory from 1994 to 1997. Dr. Gruenbacher received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Kansas State University

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Rekha Natarajan Kansas State University

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Rekha Natarajan earned her B.S. and M.A, both in mathematics, at Arizona State University in 2001 and 2002, respectively. She also earned her B.S. in secondary education from Kansas State University in 2004. She is currently the college algebra coordinator in the Department of Mathematics at Kansas State University, where she coordinates and teaches both traditional and studio versions of college algebra.

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Abstract

From Defense to Degree: Accelerating Engineering Degree Opportunities for Military VeteransThis paper addresses curricular issues involved in integrating post-9/11 veterans into theengineering workforce. A recent NSF Workshop on Enhancing the Post-9/11 VeteransEducational Benefit indicates that new, more generous veterans’ educational benefits create anopportunity to expand the technical workforce while benefitting those who have served ourcountry. The workshop further indicates that the veterans include a diverse and qualified pool offuture talent for the nation’s engineering and science employers.There are two main aspects to this project: (1) an accelerated track for veterans into engineeringbachelor’s degrees in engineering for those with no bachelor’s degree or with a non-technicaldegree and (2) bridging to engineering master’s degrees for those with bachelor’s degrees intechnical non-engineering areas. The initial focus will be in the renewable energy and energydistribution systems area. Energy has been identified as a critical area where there is a largeprojected shortage of trained technical personnel. A recent NSF Workshop on the Future PowerEngineering Workforce indicated “a serious need is emerging for more power and energyengineers.” The IEEE Power and Energy Society has also indicated that “Immediate action mustbe taken to avoid letting a growing shortage of well-qualified electric power engineers slowprogress in meeting critical national objectives.”This paper will focus on the accelerated track for military veterans into bachelor’s degrees inengineering. It is important to have contact with the military veteran prior to their arriving oncampus to start school. An initial thorough evaluation of the veterans’ training, experiences, andexpertise will be conducted with the option of granting academic credit where appropriate.Current policies give little credit for military experience or training. The next step will be to usethe initial evaluation to identify areas where the veteran has the technical background but may belacking the necessary mathematics or have not used the mathematics for a long time. Thedevelopment of on-line review courses will be used to accelerate the veterans entry into thetraditional math sequence. The creation of accelerated courses specifically for veterans enrolledin the program will be another aspect used to accelerate degree completion. Veterans may havea base of technical knowledge acquired through the technical nature of their assignments.Assigning them to introductory level courses with traditional freshman and sophomore studentsdoes not respect their technical expertise nor challenge their capabilities and accustomed pace.Another aspect of this project is the inclusion of summer internships for participants.Student success in the accelerated courses and follow-on courses will be the primary evaluationmetric. This evaluation will take place once there are a significant number of students in theprogram.There are many additional support structures that may or may not be available on any givencampus. Key supporting components include the development of strategies to inform veterans ofengineering workforce opportunities and the recruitment activities, and coordination withcampus military veteran support staff and personnel at nearby military installations.Understanding what is available is an important part of the overall success of a program.

Soldan, D. L., & Schulz, N. N., & Vogt, B. A., & Gruenbacher, D., & Natarajan, R. (2011, June), From Defense to Degree: Accelerating Engineering Degree Opportunities for Military Veterans Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18010

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