June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.729.1 - 11.729.11
Implementing Service Learning in Engineering Curriculum
Service learning is a pedagogy that provides students with structured opportunities to learn, develop, and reflect through active participation and thoughtfully organized community involvement. It enhances the academic experience of students by relating academic content and course objectives to issues in the community.
Community engagement through service learning has become a well-established education approach in liberal arts and science education. While engineering education seems like a natural fit, community engagement through service learning with very few exceptions is not integrated within the engineering curriculum. To provide hands-on educational experience, traditionally, engineering schools have developed partnership with industry through various programs such as internships, co-operative education and sponsored research. However, implementing a sustainable model of service learning in engineering is very different from industry-based education, and faces serious challenges.
Cal Poly Pomona has recently established an Engineering Service Learning Institute (ESLI) with NSF support to integrate service learning in engineering curriculum. This paper focuses on service learning as an effective pedagogy to provide authentic learning experiences, discusses the projects implemented at Cal Poly Pomona and the engineering service learning course content.
Community-based Service learning1-7 is a pedagogy that provides students with opportunities to learn, develop, and reflect through active participation and thoughtfully organized community involvement. It enhances the academic experience of students by relating academic content and course objectives to issues in the community.
The concept of service learning is not new and it has been in use in various forms especially in liberal arts and education. Traditionally, engineering has been engaged with the community beyond the campus boundaries through technical assistance programs, university extension, and work of individual faculty serving as consultants to local community organizations. However, the community engagement is usually not systematically integrated within the engineering curriculum. Most programs tend to be focusing more on a student’s professional development, rather than on their becoming socially responsible engineers who are prepared to address the needs of increasingly complex societies and communities using contemporary technologies in a cost-effective way.
In the recent past there has been a noticeable push to adopt service learning in engineering8. Purdue University9 developed an innovative program that creates partnerships between teams of undergraduate students and local community not-for-profit organizations to solve engineering- based problems in the community. This partnership provides many benefits to the students and the community alike. California State University system has 23 campuses and all CSU are
Jawaharlal, M., & Fan, U., & Monemi, S. (2006, June), Implementing Service Learning In Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1437
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