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Summer Internships For Engineering Technology Students: Sharing The Experiences

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ET Industrial Collaborations

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1042.1 - 7.1042.14



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Paper Authors

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Maher Murad

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Andrew Rose

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 3149

Summer Internships for Engineering Technology Students: Sharing the Experiences

Andrew T. Rose, Maher M. Murad University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Abstract Students in engineering technology programs seek summer employment opportunit ies to expand their education, provide work experience, and assist in financing their education. Consulting firms, public agencies and contractors provide the majority of summer employment opportunities for students. The variety of students and summer employment opportunities results in a range of student experiences. Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of different summer employment opportunities from student and faculty perspectives can help students pursue opportunities most appropriate for their career goals. In addition, faculty can better advise students on summer job opportunities to suit student academic and professional needs. Student feedback was obtained to assess summer employment experiences and quantify the resulting learning experiences. The interactions between student learning experiences in the classroom and in their summer jobs are assessed and discussed. Suggestions for advising students on summer job opportunities are also presented.

Introduction Civil Engineering Technology (CET) students at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown take advantage of summer employment opportunities within their major to provide work experience in their field of study and assist in financing their education. Some students find positions with consulting firms or contractors. A large number of students however, take advantage of the Engineering, Scientific, and Technical Internship (ESTI) program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Students completing their freshman year in Engineering Technology are eligible for the program. PennDOT Interns work on various projects throughout the state. Most are assigned to inspection positions on construction field projects near their homes. Advantages of this program are the professional work experience, the minimum amount of education required to qualify, and the above average pay rate with potential for overtime.

Previous discussions with students suggested the educational experience as a PennDOT summer intern varies greatly depending on the assignment as well as the student. Some students find the experience rewarding. Others have felt their assignment was less challenging. However, considerably lower pay and locations away from home often deter students from considering more challenging summer jobs with consulting engineering firms. As a result, some choose the PennDOT program for financial reasons and convenience, rather than for the challenge of the work experience.

In other cases, students participating in the PennDOT summer internship program are exposed to new knowledge that will be covered in their courses the following year. This can benefit the student, as well as others in the class. Knowledge gained by one student through summer experiences can be shared with others during collaborative learning exercises in a team-based Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Murad, M., & Rose, A. (2002, June), Summer Internships For Engineering Technology Students: Sharing The Experiences Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11162

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