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Outcomes of Engaging Engineering Undergraduates in Co-Curricular Experiences

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Learning Outside the Classroom

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

22.1132.1 - 22.1132.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18498

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

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Brian A. Burt University of Michigan

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Brian A. Burt is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. He serves as a research assistant at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering. His broad research interests include understanding the doctoral student experience.

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Donald D. Carpenter Lawrence Technological University

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Dr. Donald Carpenter is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and the Director of Assessment at Lawrence Technological University. Prior to being Director of Assessment, Dr. Carpenter was the Founding Director for the Center of Teaching & Learning at Lawrence Tech where he was responsible for conducting faculty development programs. In addition, Dr. Carpenter actively conducts educational and pedagogical research on teamwork, leadership, and ethical development and is Kern Fellow for Entrepreneurial Education.

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Cynthia J. Finelli University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9148-1492

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Dr. Cynthia Finelli, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering (CRLT-Engin) and research associate professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. In addition, she actively pursues research in engineering education and assists other faculty in their scholarly projects. She is past Chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of ASEE and guest co-editor for a special issue of the International Journal of Engineering Education on applications of engineering education research.

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Trevor Scott Harding California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. Trevor S. Harding is Chair and Professor of Materials Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he teaches courses in biomaterials, solidification metallurgy, tribology, and life cycle design. Dr. Harding has published numerous manuscripts in the area of ethical development of engineering undergraduates through application of psycho-social models of moral expertise. He also conducts research in student motivation, service learning, and project-based learning. His technical research is focused on degradation of biomedical materials in vitro. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Advances in Engineering Education, is Chair of the ASEE Materials Division, and was ERM Vice-Chair for the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference. He recently received the 2008 President’s Service Learning Award for innovations in the use of service learning at Cal Poly. In 2004, he was named a Templeton Research Fellow by the Center for Academic Integrity, Duke University. Dr. Harding received both the 1999 Apprentice Faculty Grant and 2000 New Faculty Fellow Award for his contributions to engineering education.

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Janel A. Sutkus Carnegie Mellon University

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Dr. Janel A. Sutkus is Director of Institutional Research and Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is responsible for analysis and assessment of administrative and academic functions university-wide and within CMU’s colleges. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and management from the Center for the Study of Higher and Post-secondary Education at the University of Michigan, a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and music from Cornell College.

Prior to her work at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Sutkus was a college administrator and adjunct instructor for 15 years at two undergraduate liberal arts colleges. She also taught non-experimental educational research methods as a graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan, and was a virtual writing instructor at Marygrove College, working with masters' students on quantitative and qualitative research papers for the departments of education and criminal justice. She is a member of the Association for Institutional Research, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Association of American Universities Data Exchange.

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Matthew Holsapple University of Michigan

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Matthew Holsapple is a doctoral candidate in Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, and he has spent the last three years researching engineering ethics education. His research interests include moral development and character education in college students, professional ethics education, and research design and quasi-experimental methods in college student outcomes research.

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Robert M. Bielby University of Michigan

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Robert Bielby is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education focusing in higher education policy and quantitative methodology.

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Eunjong Ra University of Michigan

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Eunjong Ra is a doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. Prior to that, she worked for the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology in Korea as a deputy director, where her responsibilities included lifelong learning, international cooperation, and performance management. Her research interests include student college choice, sociology of education, college finance, and the application of quasi-experimental methods to the study of these issues.

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Abstract

Engaging engineers: How participation in co-curricular and extracurricularexperiences influences the ethical development of engineering undergraduatesIntroduction The effect of involvement in co-curricular (i.e. internships, co-ops, and service projects)and extracurricular (i.e. clubs and organizations) experiences on student persistence is welldocumented in the education literature. What remains unclear is the role that involvement playson the ethical development of undergraduate students. We believe that when students areinvolved in co-curricular and extracurricular experiences they are more thoughtful about theirethical decisions and can articulate how involvement influences their ethical development. In thispaper, we examine how engineering students at four similar institutions articulate their ethicaldevelopment in disparate ways.Research Question The research question guiding our analysis is: What is the role of co-curricular andextracurricular experiences in students’ ethical development?Data Collection Data were collected from 18 colleges and universities of differing Carnegieclassifications and geographical locations. Each campus visit included a focus group withengineering faculty, a focus group with undergraduate engineering students, and individualinterviews with campus administrators. We asked all participants about the culture of theinstitution, ethics in engineering, and student involvement in out-of-classroom experiences. Inthis paper, we examine the experiences of students attending the four smallest institutions in oursample. Data was analyzed from a total of eight focus groups: 4 engineering faculty focus groups(N= 23) and 4 undergraduate engineering student focus groups (N=31).Methods We used a grounded theory approach to analyze the transcribed data. First, we readthrough the transcribed interviews to identify possible explanations about the significance ofstudent involvement at each of the four institutions (open coding). Second, we made sense ofhow the open-codes fit across the four institutions by grouping chunks of data that were related(axial coding). Next, we looked for emergent themes from the axial codes. Discrepant evidencewas noted whenever students at the same or different institutions articulated disparateexperiences. Finally, we constructed categories of patterns within our sample of four institutions.Preliminary Findings Although analysis is ongoing, preliminary findings suggest that certain types ofinvolvement, as well as the quantity of experiences, influence how students discuss ethics andhow students make ethical decisions. For instance, when students at three of the schools in oursample described ethical development, they championed their involvement as complementingwhat they learned in the formal curriculum. These dialogues on engineering ethics weredrastically different for students who attended an institution in which involvement in co-curricular and extracurricular experiences were scarce and not emphasized by faculty andadministrators. We will further explore these findings and provide implications for faculty andadministrators intending to influence students’ ethical development through co-curricular andextracurricular experiences.

Burt, B. A., & Carpenter, D. D., & Finelli, C. J., & Harding, T. S., & Sutkus, J. A., & Holsapple, M., & Bielby, R. M., & Ra, E. (2011, June), Outcomes of Engaging Engineering Undergraduates in Co-Curricular Experiences Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18498

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