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Service-Learning Partnerships: Improving Education and Addressing Community Needs

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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

Innovative College-Industry Partnerships for the Future

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1285.1 - 22.1285.18



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Paper Authors


William C. Oakes Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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William Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program at Purdue University, one of the founding faculty members of the School of Engineering Education and a courtesy faculty member in Mechanical Engineering and Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. He is active in ASEE and has served on the boards of ERM, FPD, and CIP and is a fellow of the ASEE and NSPE. He was the first engineer to win the Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. He was a co-recipient of the 2005 National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for his work in EPICS.

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Service-Learning Partnerships: Improving Education and Addressing Community NeedsThe engineering education community and its partners have spent a great deal of time, moneyand effort to increase both the interest in engineering and the diversity of those entering thefields. Despite these efforts, much remains to be done. Interest in engineering has not seen asignificant increase. Women and students of color remain underrepresented as compared to theirrepresentation in the overall population. To add to the challenges, the current economicdifficulties have restricted the resources available to invest in these initiatives. The economy hasalso had an impact on our communities, adding to the needs and reducing the resourcesavailable.This paper will present a model to addressing these multiple challenges using service-learningdesign teams. The approach is to engage corporations as partners in the education of studentsfrom high school through college as the students develop designs that add capacity to thoseserving the community through not-for-profits, schools and local government organizations. Theapproach creates three way partnerships between corporations, schools and communities,leveraging the assets and strengths of each to strengthen the partnership.The paper will present best practices from both a university a high school model and provideindustry perspectives from the mentors. Data will be shared pointing to the potential of thismodel including of 40% representation of young women at the high schools.

Oakes, W. C. (2011, June), Service-Learning Partnerships: Improving Education and Addressing Community Needs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18406

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