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Integrating Service Learning Into Engineering Communications Courses

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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

Service Learning in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.768.1 - 9.768.8



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Paper Authors

author page

John Chandler

author page

dean fontenot

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

Session 3161

Integrating Service Learning Into Engineering Communications Courses

A. Dean Fontenot, Ph. D. and John R. Chandler, Ph. D. College of Engineering, Texas Tech University


As one of the 840 participants in the National Campus Compact program, Texas Tech University (TTU) is adopting service learning as a viable learning tool for students. The College of Engineering (COE) is integrating service learning into the Industrial Engineering (IE) Communications course, helping students to develop an understanding of civic participation and how that participation augments engineering curriculum and professionalism. Service learning is easily implemented in engineering communications courses because the nature of the courses lend themselves to written and oral presentations to a professional audience, and, in the case of service learning, a community audience. In the IE Communications for Engineers course, students develop professional written and oral communication skills by writing technical documents, giving oral presentations on those documents, and writing and delivering professional emails. However, the team projects for the course are geared toward teaching students about civic responsibility by having them design, develop, and deliver exercises geared to public schools that demonstrate and teach elements of engineering. Not only must the engineering students have a product to deliver to the school and the public school teachers, they must assess how the semester’s community involvement has impacted their basic knowledge of engineering, their understanding of engineering professionalism, and their commitment to civic responsibility. In addition to developing a tool for public school teachers, the project enhances the Texas Tech University Pre-college Engineering Program©. This article includes the development of the IE Communications Course; how the course satisfies ABET’s criteria for communication, professional responsibility, and impact of engineering on society; industry’s response to community service, and the positive feedback from public school teachers regarding the community projects. This article also describes the plan the College of Engineering has for developing a college wide engineering communications program.


Service-learning is a pedagogy that links community service and civic engagement with academic courses in order to meet the needs of the community. Through reflection students access their role in the community and their obligations to the community. Service learning does not require extra work from students, but must be integrated into the course curriculum so that it is a part of the learning process for all the students. In the Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004 American Society for Engineering Education

Chandler, J., & fontenot, D. (2004, June), Integrating Service Learning Into Engineering Communications Courses Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13350

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