June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.979.1 - 22.979.17
ISES – A Longitudinal Study to Measure the Impacts of Service on Engineering StudentsAbstractOver the last few years, concerns have escalated among many national organizations thattechnical expertise is no longer solely sufficient for the development of future engineers.Additionally, in the United States engineering programs continue to struggle to attract students,especially women and minorities, despite decades of strategies to change these patterns.Independent of these challenges, students’ interest has exploded in extracurricular service efforts,notably through Engineers Without Borders. In some institutions, this service involvement hasfueled the implementation of Learning Through Service (LTS) in curricula. A growing body ofevidence suggests that LTS may provide significant advantages to engineering students, butindividual studies to-date have been limited in their duration and scope of assessment.This paper outlines a three-year project that will measure various indicators related to desirableattributes of future engineers, how these indicators are impacted by LTS efforts, and how theydevelop over the time of undergraduate education. The proposed three-year project is acollaborative effort involving four institutions diverse in size and culture. The evaluationconsists of a sequential but staggered longitudinal study of engineering students at these fourinstitutions that have LTS programs, either curricular, extracurricular or both. The impacts ofLTS on engineering students’ traditional technical attributes as well as a mix of non-technicalattributes will be studied; along the way, information on interest and persistence in engineeringwill be gathered.It is expected that the study will significantly add to the growing body of evidence that LTS haspositive benefits for engineering students, particularly those from underrepresented groups.Specifically, this project will: Create a methodology to assess the development of students’ skills as well as attitudes, beliefs, and identities; Determine whether extracurricular and curricular LTS opportunities offer similar benefits to all students and their universities; and Provide insight on effective engineering course and program design. Support the concepts espoused by various national foundations / associations / academies on the value in creating broadly- or holistically-thinking engineers; Create service-minded engineers, and assist communities-in-need through engineering; and Improve the image of engineers in the eyes of the general public, through promotion of service projects.
Swan, C. W., & Paterson, K., & Pierrakos, O., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Striebig, B. A. (2011, June), ISES: A Longitudinal Study to Measure the Impacts of Service on Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18212
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