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Pilot Survey of Engineering and Engineering Technology Students in Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Two Year-to-Four Year Transfer Topics Part I

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1158.1 - 22.1158.5



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Paper Authors


Michael T. Gibbons American Society for Engineering Education

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Michael Gibbons is the Director of Data Research & Programs at the American Society for Engineering Education. Since 1999 he has managed several surveys and publications on U.S. and Canadian engineering colleges. He publishes the annual Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges book, which tracks engineering enrollments, degrees, faculty headcounts and research expenditures. Detailed profiles of 370 ABET-accredited engineering and engineering technology colleges are published at and in ASEE’s data mining tool.

Mr. Gibbons also contributes to ASEE's Prism magazine and serves as one of ASEE's main media contacts. Michael Gibbons acts as the main contact between ASEE's Engineering Deans Council, ASEE’s Engineering Research Council and U.S. News and World Report. He serves on data committees for the first two bodies.

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Elizabeth T. Cady National Academy of Engineering

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Elizabeth T. Cady is a Program Officer at the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering.

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Catherine Didion National Academy of Engineering

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Catherine Didion is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Her portfolio is the Diversity of the Engineering Workforce program with a charge to provide staff leadership to the NAE's efforts to enhance the diversity of the engineering workforce at all levels including the diversity of those being prepared to enter the future workforce.

Didion served as Executive Director for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) for fourteen years (1990 to 2004). During tenure AWIS was awarded the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring and she was the principle investigator for 17 government and foundation grants. Didion has presented testimony before the United States Congress and U.S. federal agencies and she was the editor for Women in Science Column for the Journal of College Science Teaching from 1993 - 2002. Didion has extensive experience on Capitol Hill including staff positions at the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Office of Senator Robert Packwood (R-Oregon), the Senate Computer Center, and the Senate Press Gallery.

Didion’s honors and awards include AAAS Fellow (2005); AWIS Fellow (2001); Drucker Foundation Fellow (2000); Texaco Management Institute Fellow (1999); Secretary of the US Air Force Inaugural Environmental Civic Leaders Tour (1996); and Certificate of Commendation and Distinguished Service, Embassy of the United States of America (1989).

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Norman L. Fortenberry National Academy of Engineering (Washington)

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Dr. Norman L. Fortenberry is the founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). CASEE facilitates research on and deployment of, innovative policies, practices, and tools designed to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of systems for the formal, informal, and lifelong education of engineers. He previously served in various executive positions within the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources. He has also served as executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (The GEM Consortium) and as a faculty member in the department of mechanical engineering at the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering. Dr. Fortenberry was awarded the S.B., S.M., and Sc.D. degrees (all in mechanical engineering) by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Pilot Survey of Engineering and Engineering Technology Students in 2-Year and 4-Year InstitutionsTaking full advantage of community colleges as sources of science and engineering majors is acritical component of U.S. science and technology policy. Within the engineering andengineering technology (e/et) communities, the most critical role of community colleges is asfeeders to baccalaureate engineering and engineering technology programs. Indeed, some statesdepend on community colleges as a key pathway for students seeking baccalaureate degrees inall fields. Data are available on the number of degree recipients in e/et at the associate’s degreelevel. However, since many programs of study that prepare students to transfer to abaccalaureate e/et program do not require the student to attain an associate’s degree as anintermediate step, there are not reliable data on either the number of community college studentswho intend to transfer to baccalaureate e/et programs or the number who successfully make thetransition.The overall goal is to characterize (1) the number of community college students enrolled inindividual e/et programs, (2) the number of community college students who have eithercompleted an associate’s degree program or directly transferred to a baccalaureate program, and(3) the number of baccalaureate degree recipients who began their education in a communitycollege. This data will allow us to answer our overall research question: “How many studentswho have substantially completed an e/et program of study in a community college transfer to abaccalaureate e/et degree program irrespective of whether they have completed the requirementsto obtain an associates degree?” Determining the ability to answer this question is central todetermining the ability to answer several broad follow-on questions that will allow us to moreclosely gauge the preparation and success of community college students in baccalaureateengineering programs. For example, • Do engineering students who begin at community colleges perform as well, better than, or not as well as other students? What factors influence their success rate? • How many community college graduates are admitted to Research I Institutions? • How many obtain graduate degrees? • What career paths do students with A.S. degrees follow?The current project is a pilot study to be undertaken at a purposeful sample of 35 communitycolleges and 15 engineering colleges in the U.S. The three major activities to be undertaken inthis pilot are to (1) confer with e/et faculty and deans within 2-year and 4-year e/et programs todetermine key data questions to be asked of the participating e/et programs; (2) work with thedata research staff at the ASEE to survey a sample of community colleges and engineeringbaccalaureate degree granting institutions; and (3) debrief key contacts at the sampledinstitutions on any challenges encountered during the data collection process and how suchchallenges might be avoided in the future.This paper will present the findings of the pilot study.

Gibbons, M. T., & Cady, E. T., & Didion, C., & Fortenberry, N. L. (2011, June), Pilot Survey of Engineering and Engineering Technology Students in Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18943

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