Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
In response to findings from the Cech study on the Culture of Disengagement at American engineering institutions , much concern has emerged regarding how future engineers might not be developing a mindset that places the public’s well-being as a foremost priority. This, of course, could have an important bearing on the type of professionals that academic institutions are sending out into the world. Many candidate explanations could presumably emerge in terms of why students become “disengaged”, including practical worries about obtaining a job or paying off debt from college. Against this theoretical backdrop, our research team is in the process of investigating what may help to combat, or at least mitigate, this type of problem. In other words, we are seeking to identify which specific facets of community engagement activities contribute to or fortify the concern that engineering and other STEM students have for the well-being of the public. Our team is in the process of embarking on a five-year grant funded project to study the effects of a broad range of community engagement activities, both inside and outside of the classroom.
In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the community engagement and ethics project at our institution, including a description of our assessment efforts. We will primarily focus here on the quantitative components, which involve the use of an assessment instrument to collect data about how undergraduate STEM students perceive their responsibilities for upholding the public’s well-being. We are administering a modified version of the Engineering Professional Responsibility Assessment (EPRA) survey created by Angela Bielefeldt and her team at the University of Colorado Boulder. Our modifications to the EPRA survey were made with the goal of reaching more students in STEM fields than just engineering majors. We will share initial findings from the first stage of data collection obtained from our primary study cohort, which is the Fall 2017 undergraduate class. As the project proceeds, our hope is to collect and share findings that may shape the curriculum at engineering and other STEM institutions.
Erwin, A., & Borenstein, J., & Newstetter, W. C., & Potts, C., & Zegura, E. (2018, June), Undergraduate STEM Students and Community Engagement Activities: Initial Findings from an Assessment of Their Concern for Public Well-being Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31172
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