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The Missing Third: The Vital Role of Two-Year Colleges in Shrinking Engineering Education Deserts

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

2-Year College Division: Transferring and Smoothing Transitions

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35347

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35347

Download Count

86

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer Karlin Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now a professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she is helping build the Bell Engineering program, and the managing partner of Kaizen Academic.

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L. Eric James Iron Range Engineering

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Rebecca A Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Rebecca A. Bates received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington. She also received the M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrated Engineering program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, home of the Iron Range, Twin Cities and Bell Engineering programs.

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Emilie A Siverling Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Emilie A. Siverling is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is also a faculty member in Iron Range Engineering’s Bell Program. She has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education and an M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction - Science Education from Purdue University. During her graduate studies, she focused on pre-college engineering design-based STEM integration, primarily using engineering design to support secondary science curricula and instruction. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a high school chemistry and physics teacher; she maintains a South Dakota Teaching Certificate for secondary chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Before teaching, she received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Jodi Nelson

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Abstract

Students who have barriers, whether perceived or real, to leaving their immediate geographic area are considered place bound. Being place bound becomes an issue of inclusion and access when place bound students live in an engineering education desert, or a geographic region where there is no access to face-to-face engineering education programs. Our data show that 1 in 3 Americans live in an engineering education desert. The geographic spread of two-year colleges throughout the United States makes them a vital link in connecting place bound students with opportunities for 2- and 4-year degrees in engineering and engineering technology. This paper first follows Hillerman’s work by applying statistically created Commuting Zones to determine the availability of both lower division and upper division face-to-face degrees in engineering and engineering technology. That data is then crossed with the results of a study of average distance from their permanent address that students travel to college based on the type of institution. When stratified by institution type, this data visually and statistically demonstrates the vital role of two-year colleges in providing engineering education access for all Americans. Finally, we apply an inclusion lens to consider the implications of our data and interventions that support recruiting and retaining place bound students. These interventions are both local to a particular college such as curricular elements and student affairs strategies, and broader across the network of two-year colleges, four-year colleges and industry, such as articulation agreements and partnerships in all directions. Explicitly valuing two-year college partnerships with local industry simultaneously highlights the role of two-year colleges in the economic development of their region and opens the conversation about engineering education deserts to considering pathways to careers for place bound students.

Karlin, J., & James, L. E., & Bates, R. A., & Siverling, E. A., & Nelson, J. (2020, June), The Missing Third: The Vital Role of Two-Year Colleges in Shrinking Engineering Education Deserts Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35347

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