June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1253.1 - 22.1253.18
Returning Students in Engineering Education: Making a Case for “Experience Capital”Students returning to college are not generally studied, where most of the research on non-traditional students is focused on individuals returning to earn their undergraduate degree. Thereare, however, many students returning to receive graduate degrees as they pursue new directionsin life by interest or economic necessity. Undergraduate students with experience have cleareducational related goals, practical approaches to problem-solving, and high learning motivation.Returning graduate students are expected to model similar behaviors. These individuals bring alifetime of personal and professional expertise, which we identify as “experience capital.”A review of the literature reveals that capital has been pondered since early western philosophersconsidered the concept of social capital in terms of „community governance‟. Others creditDewey with the first use of the term „social capital‟. Since then, development of other capitalsinclude human, cultural, and symbolic. Human capital is viewed as knowledge, skills, andattributes; cultural capital as an indicator of class position acquired by family and education ; andsymbolic as the prestige, recognition, and fame. Today, social capital is viewed as the networks,relationships, and connections of influence and support. Experience capital is the partial unionof social, human, cultural, and symbolic capital, which individuals develop from their personaland professional experiences as they progress through life.This is an exploratory study capturing the perceptions of “experience capital” of individuals withseveral years of professional experience in their discipline returning for a doctoral degree inengineering education. The research question this study addresses is: what “experience capital”do returning students bring to an engineering education doctoral program? The participantswill be interviewed; open coding will be used to identify common themes. The results of thisqualitative study will position the experiences of the participants at the partial union of social,human, cultural, and symbolic capital, in a space called experience capital.
Strutz, M. L., & Cawthorne, J. E., & Ferguson, D. M., & Carnes, M. T., & Ohland, M. W. (2011, June), Returning Students in Engineering Education: Making a Case for “Experience Capital” Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18735
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