Asee peer logo

Impacts of Service-Learning Projects on the Technical and Professional Engineering Confidence of First-Year Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Measuring the Impact of Community Engagement on Students

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.897.1 - 26.897.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Matthew Siniawski Loyola Marymount University

visit author page

Dr. Matthew T. Siniawski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Loyola Marymount University. He has advised over 40 different senior capstone project design teams since 2004, and is particularly interested in the design of assistive devices for children with disabilities. He is a an active proponent of service-learning and is interested in understanding how such experiences impact the technical and professional development of engineering undergraduate students.

visit author page


Sandra G. Luca Loyola Marymount University

visit author page

Sandra Luca is the Director of Student Engagement for the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

visit author page

author page

Jeremy S. Pal Loyola Marymount University

author page

Jose A. Saez Loyola Marymount University

Download Paper |


Impacts of Service-Learning Projects on the Technical and Professional Development of First-Year Engineering StudentsAbstractFirst-year engineering students at an ABET accredited small private university in the southwesthave participated in local service-learning projects since 2009 while enrolled in a learningcommunity. Projects have included designing and installing a playground and a greywaterirrigation system at a transitional residence for single women and women with children,conducting water quality and hydrologic measurements in a wetland, and designing engineeringlesson plans and activities for a K-5 public STEM school. Service-learning projects were alsooffered in the Fall 2014 semester for first-year engineering students not participating in thelearning community. For these projects, the engineering students partnered with the teachers andstudents at a local K-8 public charter school specifically dedicated to inclusive education.Projects ranged from designing interactive engineering demonstrations of simple machines tocreating custom assistive technologies for students with disabilities. An instrument was designedto measure changes in students’ engineering design self-efficacy and evaluate their developmentbased on various national engineering student learning outcomes. The instrument was adaptedfrom a combination of previously validated instruments that measure engineering design self-efficacy and interventional impacts on technical and professional engineering learning outcomes.In addition, the instrument includes a critical reflection component on personal development,social impact, academic enhancement, university mission, and ethics. Preliminary data wascollected during the Fall 2014 semester in order to examine differences between first-yearengineering students who participated in service-learning projects and those who did not. Apreliminary quantitative analysis will be conducted at the end of the semester to assessengineering design self-efficacy and technical and professional development. A qualitative open-coding approach will also be used to analyze emergent categories in reflection responses from asix-year longitudinal sample of students.

Siniawski, M., & Luca, S. G., & Pal, J. S., & Saez, J. A. (2015, June), Impacts of Service-Learning Projects on the Technical and Professional Engineering Confidence of First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24234

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: © 2015 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