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Motivation of Community Partners and Advisors to Participate in Community Engagement Engineering Programs

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Impact of Community Engagement on Communities

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.916.1 - 24.916.13



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Paper Authors


Julia D Thompson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Julia Thompson is a PhD candidate in Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her current research is focused on service-learning partnerships in engineering education. She also does extensive research in global engineering education, and has an interest in how to integrate Quaker process in engineering design. Julia received her undergraduate BS in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley, and worked as a energy consultant for a few years before starting her doctoral studies.

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Brent K Jesiek Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Brent K. Jesiek is Assistant Professor in the Schools of Engineering Education and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He is also an Associate Director of Purdue's Global Engineering Program, leads the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) research group, and is the recent recipient of an NSF CAREER award to study boundary-spanning roles and competencies among early career engineers. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. Dr. Jesiek draws on expertise from engineering, computing, and the social sciences to advance understanding of geographic, disciplinary, and historical variations in engineering education and professional practice.

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Motivation of Community Partners and Advisors to Participate inCommunity Engagement Engineering ProgramsSince 2000, research in service-learning has started to investigate partnerships andcommunity voice, but this research trend has received little attention amongengineering education scholars. This study aims to fill this gap by developing aricher understanding of community-university partnerships in engineeringcommunity engagement from the perspectives of academic programs and servedcommunities. In part inspired by the existing service-learning literature, this studyaddresses the question: Why are individuals and local community organizationsinvolved in engineering service-learning partnerships? This study utilizes a singlecase study design, with data collection including in-depth interviews withcommunity partners, faculty and program administrators (n=11) at a wellestablished service-learning program within the US. All interviews weretranscribed and coded thematically. Deductive codes were identified based on areview of three empirical studies examining the motivation of communityorganizations involved in service-learning programs. An inductive analysis wasalso used to discern new themes. This paper also compares preliminary resultsthat are similar to other non-engineering service-learning partnerships. The mostrecognized reason for involvement of the participants is to support engineeringstudents with their education. Many of the community and advisors stated thatthey enjoyed the experience of service learning, and the organization benefiteddirectly from the partnership. Overall, this work helps clarify and addressmisunderstandings that engineering programs and community organizations mayhave relative to partner motivations. Based on this research the authors suggestthat engineering programs increase emphasis on learning about the communityorganization within their learning objectives, since it is deemed important by thecommunity partners and critical for the final outcome of the project.  

Thompson, J. D., & Jesiek, B. K. (2014, June), Motivation of Community Partners and Advisors to Participate in Community Engagement Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22849

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