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Using Summer Programs To Excite Interest In Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

International Collaborative Efforts

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1259.1 - 8.1259.8



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Paper Authors

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Reid Vander Schaaf

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Ronald Welch

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

Session 2260

Using Summer Programs to Excite Interest in Engineering

Reid Vander Schaaf and Ronald Welch United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

Abstract Decreased enrollment in engineering majors has been a general trend around the country and at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. This paper discusses summer programs USMA has implemented to create interest and increase student knowledge of engineering. The students who participate gain a much broader understanding of engineering, and are much more likely to stay in the engineer major. They are also more likely to select the Corps of Engineers as their Army branch, and serve as engineers after graduation. The student summer program and its variety of appealing international and continental US locations is also being used as a promotional tool to attract more underclassmen to the engineering majors. Students travel locations for the summer of 2002 included: Japan, South Korea, Germany, Kosovo, Panama, Honolulu, Seattle, New Orleans, etc. The presented assessment data shows this program to be highly successful.

Introduction The Civil Engineering Division at West Point has two summer programs for students that will be entering their junior or senior year. Both of these programs are under West Point’s Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) program, which covers all summer academic programs at West Point, regardless of department or academic discipline. The first program, the Cadet District Engineer Program (CDEP), is designed to introduce Civil Engineering majors to the function of a typical US Army Corps of Engineers District within the continental US and overseas. CDEP is an internship type program that does not provide academic credit, and participation is voluntary. The program usually last between 3-5 weeks and students participate in various activities to include duties typically assigned to new engineers within the district. Some of these duties include:

• Assistant Project Engineer • Quality Assurance Inspector • Project Manager • Assistant Project Manager • Construction Representative • Field Engineer • Project Officer

In the second program, USMA civil and mechanical engineering majors who will be entering their junior or senior year are invited to participate in the US Air Force Academy’s (USAFA) Field Engineering and Readiness Laboratory (FERL). FERL is a hands-on classroom type program that receives three-semester hour academic credit. The lab introduces the students to the basics of civil engineering practice and it consists of three blocks: Surveying, Construction Methods, and Construction Materials. The three-week program occurs each June.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Vander Schaaf, R., & Welch, R. (2003, June), Using Summer Programs To Excite Interest In Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12590

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: © 2003 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