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Project-Based Service Learning for First-Year Engineering Students in Partnership with the Graduate Teaching Fellows

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Student Success & Development - Focus on Mentoring

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Division - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Mona Hemmati Colorado State University

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Mona Hemmati is a Ph.D. candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the Colorado State University.
She received her B.S.E. (2011) and M.S.E. (2014) in Structural Engineering from the Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran.

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Alistair Cook Colorado State University

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PhD Candidate in Education Sciences

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Thomas J. Siller Colorado State University Orcid 16x16

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Tom Siller served as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at Colorado State University for 13 years. He recently returned to the faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been a faculty member at CSU for 29 years.

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Abstract - Service Learning is one of the emerging concepts that is becoming popular in the education of undergraduate students. Considering the empirical approaches, the objective of service learning is to provide an opportunity for students to be more engaged in using their engineering concepts and potential for satisfying individual human, and community needs. Additionally, Project-Based Service Learning (PBSL) has been recognized as an effective active learning tool in engineering education. The College of Engineering at Colorado State University has developed a new program entitled the Graduate Teaching Fellowship for 10 graduate students to provide additional assistance in First Year Engineering courses and to do the research about retention data of first year students in collage of engineering. Considering the result of the research, the main goal of this program is to increase the retention statistics for engineering students. Each of these fellows has been assigned to one engineering department. Using the help of this graduate fellow in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, the curriculum of the first-year course entitled “Engineering Graphics and Computing” has been changed through the addition of a design project that has students work in teams on a service learning related project. This project is based on the Engineering Without Borders (EWB) Challenge ( which lets first year engineering students work on an international project which tries to develop the quality of life in locations where people live in poverty such as Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement in Zambia. This paper will discuss the organization of integrating the project into the course, difficulties that have arisen, and benefits of having this project in the first year engineering course. Details of the design of the Graduate Teaching Fellow position and its incorporation into the course organization will also be described. As an experimental program designed to enhance the first year experiences, valuable lessons have been gained.

Hemmati, M., & Cook, A., & Siller, T. J. (2017, August), Project-Based Service Learning for First-Year Engineering Students in Partnership with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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