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Strategic Alliances May Become Key Success Factors for Enhanced Experiential Learning: A Conceptual Framework for Implementation

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Engineering Management: Project Management and Partnerships

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Andrew J. Czuchry East Tennessee State University

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A rocket scientist, Andy Czuchry received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1969 and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2011. Prior to joining East Tennessee State University in 1992, Andy served as President of IRISS, a $150 million joint venture between Raytheon and General Dynamics. Andy is a tenured full professor and holder of the AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business and Technology. He received the Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award in 2006 and the 2012 Association for Global Business award for contributing extensively to promote global education in cooperation with businesses. He has coauthored more than 100 articles in refereed journals and proceedings of professional organizations related to his field.

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James H. Lampley East Tennessee State University

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Dr. Lampley received his Ed.D. from East Tennessee State University and currently serves as an Assistant Professor and Research Specialist in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department at ETSU. Dr. Lampley has been an ELPA faculty member since 2004. As a Research Specialist he works with dissertation students on quantitative research topics. Dr. Lampley also serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Post Secondary and Private Sector Leadership concentration in the ELPA department. Dr. Lampley teaches a variety of courses including Research Methods, Educational Statistics, and Quantitative Analysis. Currently, Dr. Lampley has research interests in online delivery and graduate education and spearheads research opportunities as often as possible.

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Leendert M. Craig East Tennessee State University

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Leendert Craig graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with a Masters in Engineering Technology in 2015. While working on his masters he worked as a graduate assistant in the Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media. He also earned his B.S. in Product Development Engineering Technology at ETSU in 2013. Mr. Craig also has held a Master Plumber License as well as a natural gas license since the early 1980's. He owned and operated Lenny's Plumbing and Water Treatment in the 1980's and 1990's. He currently works in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis department at ETSU as a doctoral fellow while pursuing his Ed.D. in Private Sector Educational Leadership.

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Addison Scott Karnes East Tennessee State University

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Addison Karnes received his B.S. in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Product Development from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in 2012. He then received his M.S. in Engineering Technology from ETSU in 2014 specializing in copolymer fabrication. Mr. Karnes currently works as a doctoral fellow in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at ETSU while completing his doctorate in education. He also consults as a design for manufacturability product development engineer.

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Higher Education is confronted with the challenge of providing new and improved methods for delivering experiential learning opportunities for engineering undergraduate students. This theme was underscored during last year's ASEE Conference. Our current article suggests coaching points based on two decades of capstone projects that have been successful in promoting economic development in the region we serve, while simultaneously creating integrative opportunities for MBA and MS Engineering Technology Graduates to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. Recently we extended our alliance to a cross disciplinary partnership between the College of Business and Technology and the College of Education. This was significant because our cross disciplinary graduate student team was able address a highly nonlinear technology-education-business issue in a political scenario; and suggest mutually beneficial solution paths. Based upon a review of relevant literature, the need surfaced during our 2015 Annual ASEE Meeting, and recent results of our applied research have identified a gap that can be closed. This gap is particularly acute at the graduate student level where enhanced experiential learning is often critical when demonstrating mastery of the subject matter. Further research is necessary to refine the needs in engineering at the undergraduate level. However, it is anticipated that mutually beneficial strategic alliances will contribute to improved learning outcomes for undergraduate engineering students as well.

A recent success story is helpful in illustrating the framework. Early in 2014 two of our community partners, mayors from the fifth and sixth largest counties of the 95 total counties in our state, asked for our help in sorting out the ramifications of today’s highly competitive distance learning environment. Our university has a strong outreach mission. Fortunately, two of our senior faculty members whose colleges and departments’ professional service goals were strategically well aligned with this specific request were able to respond positively. We agreed to establish a cross-disciplinary graduate student team with the required skills. The timing was such that several technology graduate students were taking their capstone class and this request was strategic and integrative in nature. The mayors presented the real-world challenge. How can we use technology to enhance the operational efficiency and strategic effectiveness of our K -12 programs in our counties? A specific goal of this effort was to improve the "soft skills" that our regional employers feel are lacking in our high school and college graduates. By soft skills they mean those professional development skills that we discussed so vigorously during last year’s conference. One of the difficulties of the project was that the information technologies were dramatically different in each county. Students responded positively and generated two innovative-complementary solutions. The mayors congratulated our students on their outstanding performance; and requested a follow-on project team this semester focusing on the operational effectiveness recommendations. Notice that the conceptual framework given in Figure 1 is comprised of three major segments: development, deployment, and improvement. These results illustrate successful completion through the deployment segment.   Figure 1: Strategic Alliances for Enhanced Experiential Learning: A Conceptual Framework for Implementation

Czuchry, A. J., & Lampley, J. H., & Craig, L. M., & Karnes, A. S. (2016, June), Strategic Alliances May Become Key Success Factors for Enhanced Experiential Learning: A Conceptual Framework for Implementation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25883

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