June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1615.1 - 26.1615.12
Undergraduate Facilitators’ Perspectives of Engineering Summer Programs Universities often use summer programs to educate, recruit, and inspire K-12 students regarding future fields of study. Engineering summer programs for high school students are offered at universities all over the country. It is often reported that students who attend an engineering summer program are retained in undergraduate engineering programs at higher rates than those students who did not participate in a summer program. Multiple calls to increase the number of engineering graduates have resulted in engineering summer programs becoming a popular method to recruit and retain additional undergraduate engineering students. Along with the increased interest in summer programs comes the need for more staff for such programs, which has created an opportunity for advanced undergraduate students to design and facilitate summer programs. This paper investigates the experiences of two undergraduate facilitators of two different engineering summer programs at a large land-grant university in the southern United States. For this study an auto-ethnographic approach was taken, in which the authors and facilitators first collaboratively developed a series of short-answer prompts related to our two research questions: 1) How can undergraduate students effectively facilitate engineering summer programs for K-12 students? and 2) How can the experience for an undergraduate student facilitating engineering summer programs be improved? Examples of the short-answer prompts that each facilitator answered independently include: 1) What was the goal of your summer program?, 2) How was the goal of the program achieved?, 3) To what extent did you as a engineering undergraduate feel that the goal was achieved?, 4) How did you get involved with the program?, 5) Describe your experience facilitating your summer program and how it may or may not have impacted your engineering identity, and 6) What were some lessons learned while being a facilitator of the program? Each prompt was answered independently and then analyzed for themes and trends. This paper is a first step towards better understanding how undergraduates can effectively support staffing needs for engineering summer programs. Additionally, the two experiences described herein serve as exemplars of the roles that advanced undergraduate students can serve in support of summer programs. Finally, by analyzing the perceived success of the programs with respect to the different program goals and motivations, we provide tricks of the trade for both undergraduate and graduate students who would like to be or are already involved in planning or leading an engineering summer program.
McFalls, R. J., & Grimes, C. D., & Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J., & Sullivan, R. W., & Warnock, J. (2015, June), Undergraduate Facilitators’ Perspectives of Engineering Summer Programs Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24951
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