June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Two Year College Division
24.778.1 - 24.778.14
Integrating Sustainability Engineering into Second-Year CompositionCommunity colleges are currently facing several challenges, namely 1) increasing the number ofstudents successfully completing STEM degrees, 2) increasing the number of transfers betweencommunity colleges and four-year institutions in STEM majors, and 3) increasing the overalltechnical ability of the current workforce. As more community colleges offer engineering andengineering technology, they must also look for ways to increase student participation andretention within STEM and STEM-related fields that are feasible given cost and personnellimitations. One way our community college is attempting to address these issues is byintegrating sustainability engineering into a required second-year composition course.The course emphasizes strategies and techniques for developing research-based expository andpersuasive texts. Within this course, students are exposed to primary and secondary researchmethods, documentation of sources, critical reading and analysis of sources, and critical thinkingabout evidence and conclusions. In the past, this course has examined literature texts (shortstories and poetry) as the basis for student research. However, the combination of courseobjectives and range of topics, research, and viewpoints within sustainability engineeringprovides an opportunity to engage students in STEM topics while still delivering required skills.Naturally, changing this well-established course presented obstacles and trials, from studentregistration to curriculum development. This course is open to any student who is a STEMmajor, has an interest in any STEM field, or has a specific interest in sustainability. However,this meant that even our advisors needed some clarification as to the definitions of STEM andsustainability in order to register students that would benefit from this course. The course wastaught using a team-based approach, with one faculty member from English and one fromEngineering, combining both areas of expertise in the classroom. Additionally, there was a shiftfrom using MLA style to APA style citations. Furthermore, students were allowed to choosetheir own topic, such as Green Building or Bottled Water versus Tap Water, so that they couldtake ownership of their work and peak their interest in STEM topics, courses, and majors. Theeffectiveness of this course is based on both its ability to meet its learning objectives and itsability to engage students in sustainability topics, projects, and career choices. Both classroomdiscussions and major assignments served as the basis for course assessment and revision of thiscourse.
Gomez, C., & Braniger, L. (2014, June), Integrating Sustainability Engineering into Second-Year Composition Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20670
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