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Improving Students' Retention By Engaging Them In Real Life Experiences

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Academic Standards and Academic Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.707.1 - 9.707.5



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Paper Authors

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Hazem Said

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session _2560_

Improving Students Retention by Engaging Them in Real Life Experiences

Hazem Said

Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computing Technology, University of Cincinnati


Engaging engineering technology students in real life experiences has a positive impact on retention rate. The Center for Information Technology and Community Development (CITCD) at the University of Cincinnati initiated the IT-Students-Work project (ITSW) as part of its plan to establish strong relationship between students in the Information Technology program and the community.1

The idea of the ITSW came after the realization of two issues. The first issue is that Information Technology (IT) solutions have a great impact on the operation of non-profit and educational organizations the same way it impacts commercial businesses. However, generally, non-profit and educational organizations do not have enough budgets to develop the IT solutions they need. The second issue is that undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in Information Technology have skills that allow them to develop much of the solutions that non-profit or educational organizations will need. The ITSW was then established to bring these two issues together.

The ITSW project is an original project that builds on the accumulated experience of cooperative education, service learning and experiential learning. It is an established fact that students are more prepared when they acquire experiences related to the knowledge areas of their degree programs.

Format of the IT-Students-Work Project (ITSW)

There are three goals for the ITSW project. The first is to provide an opportunity for non- profit and educational organizations and even small business to have Information Technology solutions to help their operation. The second is to provide a practical life experience for undergraduate students in which they apply what they learn in the classroom. The third is to empower a sense of responsibility towards the community in undergraduate students.

There are two ways students can participate in ITSW. The first is to fulfill their cooperative education requirement. Through ITSW, projects are made available that require full time employment and students are hired as full time coop employee for one or two quarters. The second way students can participate in ITSW is through part-time

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Said, H. (2004, June), Improving Students' Retention By Engaging Them In Real Life Experiences Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13602

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