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To Be Or Not To Be A Decision Process For Creation Of An Asee Student Chapter

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1056.1 - 6.1056.6



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Paper Authors

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Kay C. Dee

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Carol Mullenax

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

Session 2655

To Be or Not To Be – A Decision Process for Creation of an ASEE Student Chapter Carol Mullenax, Kay C Dee Tulane University


The fairly recent appearance of ASEE student chapters has been lauded by ASEE leadership, and establishment of new chapters encouraged. Student chapters have very different operational concerns than ASEE Divisions, and these concerns must be recognized when considering the formation of a new student chapter. First and foremost is the concept that, as a student organization, an ASEE student chapter should be student-led and student-run with help of the faculty advisor; the consequence is that the constant turnover of students poses a great challenge to the continuity and survivability of the organization.

The decision whether to create a new student section at Tulane University was being made and served as a case study for development of an analytical method to determine the viability of a potential student section. The resulting process should be applicable to other institutions.


Variables were constructed to represent what we viewed as important factors in the survivability of a student section. These included engineering school demographics (student population and composition, average residency, academic and research workload, student funding type, number of competing campus professional organizations) along with factors influencing student interest (presence and involvement of ASEE professional members). These variables were compared to a metric, named the chapter survival index, based on measurable outcomes: number of student members, number of meetings, number of events, and number of event attendees. Statistical methods were employed to investigate trends and seek relationships in the obtained data from existing and defunct student chapters.

There are at the current time five active ASEE student chapters. Of these, the chapter at Northwestern University was formed within the past year and has no published information on activities, and the chapter at Broome Community College is composed of all undergraduates which makes comparisons to graduate chapters difficult. The three remaining mature, active ASEE student sections are located at the Universities of Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin. Three dormant ASEE student sections are associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo, Purdue University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

Data was gathered for the academic year 1999-2000 based on published reports, web site information, and direct inquiry of current chapter officers or engineering school personnel.1-17 Additionally, the list of all current ASEE student members was obtained to indicate potential student chapter locations; candidate schools were taken in general as those with at least five student ASEE members, and pertinent information for these selected institutions was obtained. Figure 1 presents a list of all variables used in generation and application of the analytical model.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Dee, K. C., & Mullenax, C. (2001, June), To Be Or Not To Be A Decision Process For Creation Of An Asee Student Chapter Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9904

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