Asee peer logo

Scholarship Program Initiative via Recruitment, Innovation, and Transformation

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Cooperative & Experiential Education Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1356.1 - 26.1356.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Chip W Ferguson Western Carolina University

visit author page

Chip Ferguson is the Associate Dean of the Kimmel School and Associate Professor of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University.

visit author page


Paul M Yanik Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Paul Yanik is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His background includes fifteen years in the development of telecommunication and mobile microprocessor hardware, and avionics. His areas of research include human-robot interactions, assistive devices, pattern recognition and machine learning. Dr. Yanik received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and the M.S. degree form N.C. State University, and the Ph.D. from Clemson University.

visit author page


Guanghsu A. Chang Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Guanghsu A. Chang, Western Carolina University -
Dr. Chang is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University. He has spent the last 21 years in teaching industrial and manufacturing engineering programs. He earned his MSIE, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests include robotic applications, manufacturing automation, Design for Assembly (DFA), and Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) applications. He was a vice president of Southern Minnesota APICS (2009-2012) and faculty advisor of APICS student chapter at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

visit author page


Sudhir Kaul Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Kaul is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include Fracture Diagnostics, Structural Dynamics and Control, and Motorcycle Dynamics.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Scholarship Program Initiative via Recruitment, Innovation, and TransformationThe National Science Foundation’s funded program ($625,179) entitled SPIRIT: ScholarshipProgram Initiative via Recruitment, Innovation, and Transformation seeks to create a newapproach to the recruitment, retention, education, and placement of academically talented andfinancially needy engineering and engineering technology students. The program began at_______ ________ __________ in Fall 2014 with a recruitment of twenty-seven new andcontinuing students. These students are horizontally and vertically integrated cohorts who will benurtured and developed in a Project Based Learning (PBL) community characterized byextensive mentoring, fundamental and applied undergraduate research, hands-on design projects,and industry engagement. The horizontal integration method creates sub-cohorts with same-yearstudents from different disciplines (electrical, mechanical, etc.) to work in an environment thatreflects how engineers work in the real world. The vertical integration method enables sub-cohorts from different years to work together on different stages of projects in a PBL setting. Thestructure of the SPIRIT program is expected to develop an interdisciplinary environment thatenhances technical competency through learning paradigms that aim to improve critical skillssuch as intentional learning, problem solving, teamwork, management, interpersonalcommunications, and leadership. Support for the students participating in this programincorporates several established support services offered by the host institution and school,including an industry-facing product development center.This paper presents several aspects of the program such as participant selection, initial cohortdemographics, the vertically-based cohort model in PBL, program and student assessmentmodels, and associated student activities. Progress of participating students is continuouslymonitored in order to foster success and retention in the program, and to facilitate the transitionto professional life upon graduation. Successful implementation of the SPIRIT program willcreate a replicable model that will broadly impact 21st century engineering education andworkforce preparedness.

Ferguson, C. W., & Yanik, P. M., & Chang, G. A., & Kaul, S. (2015, June), Scholarship Program Initiative via Recruitment, Innovation, and Transformation Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24693

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015