June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Cooperative & Experiential Education
26.1091.1 - 26.1091.7
Leveraging Cooperative Education Experiences to Enhance and Develop the Capstone Design CourseAt XXXX University multiple cooperative education experiences are required for graduation.Beginning the summer following the students’ sophomore year they spend alternate semesterswith an industry partner. The co-op program also engages students in on-line elementsaddressing professional topics including engineering economics and project management. Skillsgained during these semesters are readily applied to a capstone experience that entails industrysponsored design and build style projects.The ability to comfortably interact with others in an industrial environment, manage projectsentailing interactions with other portions of the business outside of engineering such aspurchasing, skilled trades, marketing, sales and others allows a wide variety of challengingprojects to be considered for the capstone design course. This preparation also allows for theprojects to complete the entire product development and delivery cycle including design by theteam and acceptance by the sponsor, building of the product, testing, and delivery. Frequently, capstone projects are proposed by companies that currently have one or more co-opstudents. If appropriate the co-op student acts as the point contact between the student team andthe industry sponsor. This corporate and cultural knowledge minimizes the amount ofmiscommunication and also allows faster turn around times for things such as purchase orders,work orders and decision making. This allows projects which may otherwise be out of scope fora two semester course sequence to be accepted. This increases the value to the sponsoringcompanies and also the student experience.Sponsoring companies frequently hire students that were part of a capstone team that theysupported. This paper will describe the synergistic relationship between the co-op program andthe senior capstone project course at this University, including the student preparation gainedduring the co-op semesters resulting in a mature, industry-sponsored senior capstone projectexperience. A variety of capstone projects that were made possible through this program, andthe skills that were brought to bear by students that were acquired through their cooperativeeducation experiences, will be presented.
Pung, C. P., & Plotkowski, P. D., & Plouff, C. (2015, June), Leveraging Cooperative Education Experiences to Enhance and Develop the Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24428
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