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Supporting Veteran Students Along Engineering Pathways: Faculty, Student, and Researcher Perspectives

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28888

Download Count

50

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Paper Authors

biography

Brian J Novoselich P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Brian Novoselich is an active duty Army Lieutenant Colonel currently serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy (West Point). He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in 2016. He holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and West Point respectively. His research interests include capstone design teaching and assessment, undergraduate engineering student leadership development, and social network analysis. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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biography

Janice Leshay Hall Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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I am a doctoral student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. I am a proud military brat with a biomedical engineering background. My own experiences navigating the engineering curriculum as a first-generation college student as well as being a colleague to other military-connected students through my membership as a 2010 Tillman Miltary Scholar have sparked my passion for research on pathways to and through engineering with emphasis on the formation of engineering identity especially among veteran students.

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biography

Keith A. Landry Georgia Southern University

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Keith Landry, PhD, PE, F.ASCE
Colonel (Retired), US Army
Assistant Dean for Research
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

College of Enginering & IT
Civil Engineering & Construction Management Department
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Joyce B. Main is Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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biography

Anthony W Dean Old Dominion University

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Dr. Anthony W. Dean has had several roles in academia. His previous appointments include Associate Professor of Engineering Technology and as Associate Director of the Institute for Ship Repair, Maintenance, and Operations at Old Dominion University (ODU). He is currently on assignment with the Office of the Dean for Sponsored Programs and the Engineering Fundamentals Department, Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) at ODU. His research has focused mostly on control systems (integration and testing) and the reliability and maintainability of complex systems. He has been selected as both a NASA and an ONR Faculty Fellow. He regularly teaches courses in Marine Engineering and in Maintained Systems. Most recently Dr. Dean was on the Headquarters Staff the American Society of Naval Engineers. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering Technology, from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. Additionally, Dr. Dean received an MBA from the College of William and Mary. Prior to is academic career Dr. Dean was Director of Operations and Business Development for Clark-Smith Associates, P.C., and served as an Electrician in the US Navy aboard the USS South Carolina and the USS Enterprise.

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Abstract

In an age of continued national level gaps in qualified science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers, recent military education benefits and military end strength reductions have the potential to bolster the nation’s engineering technician, engineering technologist, and engineer (ETETE) workforce. Recent work by the National Science Foundation indicates that supporting veteran students towards ETETE careers involves three key tasks for educators: 1) building early awareness of ETETE pathways; 2) ensuring academic recognition for prior military work experience; and 3) providing seamless support from government agencies, academic institutions, and industry. Many veterans experience an abrupt and unsupportive transition from military to civilian academic pursuits, which may negatively affect their retention and persistence in the field. Among other factors, delays in education benefits, a lack of academic credit for prior work experience, and less structured academic environments all may contribute to this negative perception. The growing number of veterans pursuing STEM degrees, and the diversity of this underserved group of students continues to garner the attention of faculty and administrators in an effort to mitigate these transition challenges. The purpose of this paper is to examine the initiatives and challenges discussed by a diverse panel of military and veteran-related students, faculty, and researchers during the 2016 ASEE annual conference. The topics discussed during the panel are related to previous research regarding the challenges faced by veteran students beyond ETETE career paths to contrast similarities and differences between ETETE students and their peers in other undergraduate programs. Results from this panel suggest that veteran students still struggle in navigating the transition from military to academic life and that a lack of constructive credit for military training and experience may exacerbate these challenges. A series of novel initiatives are presented that may assist faculty and administrators in adopting a fresh approach to veteran student support. Developing veteran student support programs also suggest that on-going peer mentorship programs being adopted by women and underrepresented minority engineering support programs may play an important role in supporting veteran student success.

Novoselich, B. J., & Hall, J. L., & Landry, K. A., & Main, J. B., & Dean, A. W. (2017, June), Supporting Veteran Students Along Engineering Pathways: Faculty, Student, and Researcher Perspectives Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28888

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