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Pipeline for Progress: Multi-Level Institutional Collaboration for Engineering Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.969.1 - 23.969.21



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Paper Authors


Caye M Drapcho Clemson University

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Dr. Caye Drapcho is an associate professor in the Biosystems Engineering program at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Her professional interests focus on development of sustainable bioprocesses for renewable energy production, and on secondary and university STEM education.

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Lib Crockett Clemson University

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Ms. Crockett has a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology and a master's of education in Counseling and Guidance Services, both earned at Clemson University. She was employed by Clemson University for more than 25 years serving in several student-related positions.
Crockett was an admissions counselor for both freshmen and transfer students. She helped develop the original transfer articulation agreement between Clemson and the SC Technical School system. She moved into a position as the Public Information Officer for the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. There she edited the National Dropout Prevention Newsletter that was circulated nationally among public school teachers and administrators, as well as business-industry education partners. She co-authored The Mentoring Handbook and conducted mentoring workshops that helped local business people become involved with schools in their local communities.
Crockett found her true calling as an academic advisor for first-year engineering students at Clemson. During her 20 year career as an advisor she saw first-hand how students struggled to make the adjustment from high school to college. She helped develop and conduct transitional workshops on study skills, time management, test-taking and career/major choice for her students. She authored The General Engineering Newsletter and assisted in its transition from paper to electronic format.
She also served as Transfer Coordinator for the College of Engineering and Science assisting all academic departments in the College with transfer evaluation and orientation as well as developing processes and materials for both. She coordinated articulation of engineering dual degree programs among Clemson and seventeen other academic institutions.
Crockett presented several times at the National Academic Advising Association Annual Conferences and at ASEE. She served on many college and university committees during her career for which she was selected for the Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence, given for sustained and significant contributions to academic life and one of the most prestigious at Clemson University.
Crockett retired from Clemson and now freelances as an advisor and writer.

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Pipeline for Progress: Multi-Level Institutional Collaboration for Engineering EducationThe Biosystems Technology Advanced Technological Education (BT-ATE)project developed and implemented three levels of biosystems technology (BT)education curricula for secondary school, technical college and university levels.The project’s goal is to develop a workforce of qualified technical programgraduates for the bioprocessing/biomanufacturing industry. For three years,project investigators worked to accomplish this goal by developing BT educationalcurricula for secondary, technical college, and university students.The three defining objectives of the BT-ATE project were:• to increase the engineering, technology, science, and agriculture knowledge oftwo-and four-year technical degree graduates to prepare them for technicalpositions in biomanufacturing/bioprocessing industries;• to increase the engineering, technology, life science, and mathematics knowledgebase of preservice and in-service secondary agriculture education teachers and;• to stimulate student interest in Biosystems Technology among secondary studentsand encourage those from underrepresented and economically disadvantagedgroups to pursue technical degree programs.Objective one faced several challenges. One aspect was to design and implement aBiosystems Technology Certificate Program for a local technical college to trainsecondary students for technical jobs. The certificate program was developed andapproved by the state, but changes in key personnel delayed implementation. Oneof the original grant participants was rehired at the college, and plans to offer thecertificate in spring of 2013.The second aspect of objective one was a 15-hour Biosystems Technology minoropen to students in any major at the research institution, but targeted to studentsmajoring in agriculture education. The minor has been developed and is awaitingfinal administrative approval. A key course was implemented in 2012.Objective two was and continues to be successful. The design for a secondary BTcurriculum was completed and in Year One the SC State Director of AgriculturalEducation approved the BT career pathway for secondary students. AgriculturalEducation teacher recruitment and retention stabilized in Year Two.The Summer Teaching and Learning Institute training was well attended andteacher implementation of the BT curriculum in secondary schools improvedconsistently each year. The success of the secondary education component wasprimarily due to the project investigators flexibility and willingness tocommunicate and consult with all stakeholders. Evaluators’ findings demonstratethat modifications and willingness to understand problems and significant issuesproduced improvements in critical areas of the BT ATE project.Investigators will build upon the success of objective two to facilitate attainment ofobjective three. Agriculture is a vital part of the state’s economy and educationallandscape that will experience many stresses as impacts of global climate changeincrease in severity. Most agricultural counties are economically challenged.Career choice in these areas is limited. Annually, more than 11,000 secondary SCstudents enroll in elective agricultural education courses. Exposing students tobioprocessing/biomanufacturing career opportunities and enhancing their math andscience skills will improve their quality of life and offer financial stability.This paper focuses on successes and challenges. It includes evaluation methodsand results that other institutions can replicate and tailor to their needs.

Drapcho, C. M., & Crockett, L. (2013, June), Pipeline for Progress: Multi-Level Institutional Collaboration for Engineering Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22354

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