Daytona Beach, Florida
August 6, 2017
August 6, 2017
August 8, 2017
Diversity and FYEE Division - Paper Submission
This paper, based on pre/post test scores of engineering student responses to ABET soft skill knowledge, explores the possibilities for freshman engineering students to engage meaningfully in six of the 11 outcomes for engineering graduates. With a focus on multi-disciplinary teamwork, professional ethical responsibility, effective communication, engineering solution impacts, life-long learning, and contemporary issues, the researchers surveyed >50 engineering students at a large western university to establish a baseline of their ABET soft skill understanding. Even after attention to soft skills, as explored in the literature review, findings show that even senior engineering students do not know about ABET accreditation, soft skills related to communication, or ways to apply those soft skills through conflict resolution. Currently as stand-alone course sessions embedded within engineering classes, exposure to ABET’s soft skills as well as conflict resolution techniques, can dramatically improve student understanding and collaborative interactions. The researchers propose utilizing these techniques and creating a freshman class or embedding the work in another course early in the engineering students’ program as explicit instruction is needed. For this study, techniques used in a stand-alone course session are explored. Implications for improved engineering student success are large and easily transferred to other programs as well as offering female engineering students a means to leverage socio-cultural capital.
Burrows, A. C., & Borowczak, M. (2017, August), Hardening Freshman Engineering Student Soft Skills Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/29416
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