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The Importance of a Thriving Student Organization for a Nonresidential College Campus

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Curriculum & Student Enrollment II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1224.1 - 24.1224.9



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Paper Authors


J. William White AIA Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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J. William White AIA is a lecturer with the Construction Engineering Management Technology program within the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis. He is a registered architect who has more than 23 years of varied construction industry experience. Mr. White has undergraduate degrees from Indiana University and Ball State University and a masters degree from Purdue University Indianapolis. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and the Construction Specifications Institute. His professional interests include great architecture and all things related to construction innovation.

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Veto Matthew Ray Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Mr. Matt Ray is a lecturer for the Construction Engineering Management Technology Program offered through the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He currently provides instruction for Soils and Foundations, Construction Cost and Bidding, Construction Project Cost and Production Control as well as managing the Certificate of Training in Asset Management. He is a graduate of Purdue School of Engineering and Technology receiving degrees in Construction Technology, Architectural Technology, and a Masters in Facility Management. His field experience includes residential construction and light commercial. He has been an architectural designer as well as a superintendent for single and multi-family construction projects. Mr. Ray worked as an engineering and design manager in the Building Component Manufacturing Industry for over fifteen years.

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Dan D. Koo Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Koo is an assistant professor in the department of engineering and technology at Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Dr. Koo is also a registered PE. Dr. Koo’s research and professional activities are primarily focused on heavy civil infrastructure system, underground infrastructure system management and development, trenchless engineering, and sustainability. Dr. Koo received a Ph. D in Civil and Environmental Engineering and MS in Construction Management at Arizona State University in 2007 and 2003 respectively; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering in 1999.

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The Importance of a Thriving Student Organization for a Nonresidential College CampusAs numerous studies will attest, the demographics of students pursuing an undergraduate collegedegree within an urban-based non-residential campus setting are remarkably different from thoseattending a traditional, residential campus. This is because not only does the student populationreside almost entirely off-campus -- scattered throughout a potentially large, metropolitan area --but it consists of a generous portion of nontraditional students. While there’s no question thenontraditional student enriches a classroom with diverse world views and divergent lifeexperiences, the same student also faces his/her own unique pressures: often caring for spouses,children, and/or parents all the while managing a full-time job or even multiple part time jobs.The challenge to the educator then is twofold. How can an urban campus-based program preventthe non-residential student body from eroding institutional cohesion while the pressures that facethe nontraditional student potentially undermine the academic experience? One alternative thatcan assist in addressing both of these challenges may reside within the time honored college lifecomponent of the student organization.This paper will document the successful implementation of a student organization within anurban construction management program. A literature review will be incorporated to identify thecommonalities of successful student organizations, particularly as they apply to non-residentialcollege campuses. It will describe how a viable student organization can foster a cohesion thatbenefits the program and institution at large while at the same time accommodating thenontraditional student’s challenging time constraints. The authors’ personal experiences will alsobe cited as they describe their roles in revitalizing a student organization within a non-residentialconstruction management program.Besides for being an obvious source of student networking, the paper will describe theorganization’s collateral benefits such as providing an excellent informal conduit for student –faculty interaction, outstanding student field trip opportunities and well integrated meeting topicscoordinated with classroom subject matter. Additionally, it will detail the potential of theorganization serving as an attraction for corporate sponsorship and the positive assessmentbenefits student organizations can offer.

White, J. W., & Ray, V. M., & Koo, D. D. (2014, June), The Importance of a Thriving Student Organization for a Nonresidential College Campus Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23157

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: © 2014 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