Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
A recent suicide by an engineering student began the questions related to students entering higher education today, the iGeneration (iGen), GenZ or Smartphone Generation. Smartphones are tools to be used by nearly all students today but has the access to smartphones been positive or negative influence? Many professors today have not grown up under the same circumstances so it is hard to relate to pressures that have shaped their lives if iGen students. What is the role of smartphones in this process? Obviously any new technology can be both positive and negative at the same time. The literature today shows that iGen has definite characteristics that indicate they are not prepared for the challenges of adulthood, let alone the challenges of college life. College counselors are seeing a record number of students. Almost 50% of students have reported some sort of mental illness with over a third of the students indicating that they have contemplated suicide. This information should cause us to reflect on the iGen students entering the university and attempt to understand their circumstances and culture. Who are they? What life skills and experiences do they bring with them to the university? More importantly, what is the role of the university, in particular our engineering and computer science programs, to prepare these iGen students to become productive members of the workforce? Are engineering and computer science students different and, thus, bring with them a different set of pressures? Industry is already recognizing that current engineering and computer science graduates lack some of the basic skills needed for success in the workplace. When considering the three Cs, Curiosity, Connections and Creating Value, how are we to instill these qualities into our students, especially if they are not exposed to them at an early age? Feedback from industrial advisory boards is that the current generation lacks skills such as work experience and face-to-face social interaction. Too much parental involvement has robbed students of the opportunity to solve challenges that they face. Parents do not want their children to fail. How does the university help students overcome the challenges that arise from the background and culture from which they came? This paper will define iGen, provide relevant background and discuss the implications for engineering and computer science programs. It will help faculty become aware of the iGen and relate better to iGen students. It will give context, hope and direction as faculty interact with these students.
Van Treuren, K. W., & Jordan, W. M., & Fry, C. C. (2020, June), The Challenge of Preparing iGen Students for Engineering and Computer Science Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35296
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015