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Utilizing Experiential Learning For Capstone Project Credit

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Experience with Experiential Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1395.1 - 9.1395.7

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Paper Authors

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Mary Beth Lakin

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Gary Crossman

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

Session 2249

Utilizing Experiential Learning for Capstone Project Credit

Gary Crossman, Vernon Lewis, Mary Beth Lakin

Old Dominion University

I. Abstract

The typical student at many (urban) universities works a part or full time job while attending school and may already have several years of industrial experience. This experience may very well be applicable to courses in their engineering, engineering technology or other curricula. In 1998, Old Dominion University established and implemented an assessment program called Experiential Learning with the primary purpose of providing a formal mechanism for the assessment of college level knowledge and skills gained outside the college classroom.(1)

Experiential learning has a rich history in the United States and around the world. In the 1930's Dewey (1939) focused on the importance of experiential learning in the natural sciences. After World War II, returning veterans pushed America's educational system to recognize alternative systems of learning. This resulted in the development of standardized examinations such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

The American Council on Education (ACE) is an umbrella organization for our colleges and universities, located in Washington, D.C. In 1942 it founded the Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials. This program pioneered the evaluation of education and training attained outside the college classroom. Through the College Credit Recommendation Service, formerly known as PONSI, college and university faculty across the United States evaluate workplace training offered by business, industry, labor unions, professional associations and government agencies and make college credit recommendations where appropriate. More than 200 groups currently participate, including Ford Motor Company, American Bankers' Association, General Electric, Bell Atlantic, Central Intelligence Agency, and Society for Human Resource Management. ACE also provides extensive evaluation guidelines for military training and professional certification examinations. Students with related military experience and training benefit from ACE assessment when entering degree programs such as engineering technology

Since Old Dominion’s Experiential Learning has been in effect, programs in engineering technology have assessed experiential learning for technical course credit, through the options of training evaluation, departmental examination and portfolio development. Returning adult students, with extensive work experience and engineering responsibilities, requested that their related workplace knowledge and skills be assessed for possible academic credit for the senior capstone project course. Many of these students already had job titles of project engineer or Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Lakin, M. B., & Crossman, G. (2004, June), Utilizing Experiential Learning For Capstone Project Credit Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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