June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Design in Engineering Education
14.1082.1 - 14.1082.18
Student Evaluations of Sponsor Interaction in a Capstone Interdisciplinary Senior Design Program
Abstract One possible benefit to students of an industrially sponsored capstone senior design program is the ability to try working with a particular organization prior to committing to full time employment. This can also be viewed as an incentive to sponsoring organizations as a way to observe students before making a permanent hiring decision. The student population in the program analyzed is composed of Millennial generation students (born between 1982 and 2002), who expect a fun work environment, competitive compensation and benefits, company paid training and travel opportunities along with a flexible work schedule. As experience in the classroom has shown, the Millennial student does not respond to traditional instructional techniques as past experience might indicate. This readjustment must also be made by employers in general and by first line managers in particular.
Assessing the experience that students had with an interdisciplinary capstone senior design course provides valuable insight into workforce expectations and areas for management style adaptation to maximize retention of technical staff. This work details and evaluates the responses received from students taking an anonymous survey of their experiences working with technical contacts associated with sponsored design projects. This body of knowledge is important for faculty in capstone design programs to understand, and more importantly, to communicate to sponsoring organizations when soliciting involvement with their programs. The authors make specific recommendations for managers of Millennial students based on these surveys and end- of-project discussions with industry participants. The major observation is that students had a poor impression of the management they experienced during these projects, and few would consider employment with the organization sponsoring their projects. Lessons learned in developing and implementing an Interdisciplinary Senior Design Program that meets learning objectives, prepares students to successfully transition into needs is shared.
Introduction and Class Overview This study takes place at the William States Lee School of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The program discussed in this work is designed to be an introduction to workplace practices and expectations for students during their senior year of study at the undergraduate level in Engineering and Engineering Technology. The authors participate in two roles in the program, as instructors and as faculty mentors for individual projects.
Each project in the program is composed of a team of Engineering and Engineering Technology students as dictated by the scope of work generated by the project sponsor and approved by the
Schmidt, P., & Conrad, J., & Heybruck, W., & Hoch, D., & Sharer, D., & Thurman, L., & BouSaba, N. N., & Tolley, P., & Kane, M. (2009, June), Student Evaluations Of Sponsor Interaction In A Capstone Interdisciplinary Senior Design Program Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4597
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