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Longitudinal Contact With Individual Students As A Way Of Encouraging Self Determination In Chemical Engineers

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Contemporary Issues in CHE Education

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.854.1 - 14.854.13



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Paper Authors

author page

Paul Blowers University of Arizona

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

Longitudinal Contact with Individual Students as a Route of Encouraging Self-Determination in Chemical Engineers Paul Blowers Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering The University of Arizona


It is difficult to have contact with individual students over a sustained period of time due to constrained schedules and competing time demands. However, frequent contact with individuals over time allows advisors to build student strengths in self-determination while tailoring advice directly to changing interests.

The talk will highlight advising opportunities from outreach, through retention, continuing to graduation, and post graduate interactions that fit within student progress towards their individual careers. Appropriate advising content for a technically rigorous chemical engineering program will be used as examples of how to motivate students towards exploring options and making decisions that open new doors to professional development. The issue explored is that self-determination comes from inside the student and that confidence in personal evaluation is fostered through directed activities throughout students' time with us.

Objectives that readers should be able to meet will be: ≠ to have the ability to identify points of contact where longitudinal contact can be encouraged ≠ to have the knowledge of how to remove impediments to longitudinal advising through reconstruction of advising duties in larger programs with many staff members, or through directed contact with students in smaller departments ≠ To have the ability to link student possibilities to exploratory activities that lead to self- determination

Students in chemical engineering are generally very strong in academic abilities, but often have not been exposed to a breadth of activities and possibilities that enable them to construct their own paths. Sustained advising contact has led to strong statistically-based success of students who have progressed through our program with approximately 30% of our graduates entering top ten chemical engineering graduate programs, 100% student placement of graduates almost every year, and a host of university-based, state, and national awards going to our students.


Most faculty appointments in the United States carry the expectation that there will be a balance among different work activities[1-4]. The typical assumed split on a time percentage basis is 40% on research, 40% on teaching, and 20% on service, although those percentages vary in reality[5]. One way of meeting service obligations is for faculty to take on the task of advising students in their disciplines[4, 6, 7]. Activities in the advising area provides service to many constituents, including to the students, to the department, to the profession, and to our

Blowers, P. (2009, June), Longitudinal Contact With Individual Students As A Way Of Encouraging Self Determination In Chemical Engineers Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5399

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