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What Impact Does an Engineering Abroad Program Have on the Motivation and Commitment of Community College Engineering Students?

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Community Engagement in Diverse Contexts

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33553

Download Count

2

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Paper Authors

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Jo-Ann Panzardi PE Cabrillo College

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Jo-Ann Panzardi is a Professor and Chair of the Engineering Department at Cabrillo College, Aptos, California since August 1995. She is also the Program Director of a USDE Title III STEM grant and Project Investigator of a NSF S-STEM grant. She received her BS in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York and her MSCE in Geotechnical Engineering from University of Maryland. She is a registered civil engineer in California. She was awarded the ASEE-PSW Section Outstanding Community College Educator Award in 2001.

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Terra D. Morris The RP Group

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Terra is currently an Independent Contractor for the RP Group working on institutional research projects for the California Community College Chancellor's Office. Prior to working with the RP Group, Terra worked as an Institutional Research Analyst at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA and conducted research for a number of grants including the NSF-funded Engineering Abroad Program, the Title III STEM grant, and the NSF STEP grant. Terra's passion for STEM education research started with her work with the NSF-funded Female Recruits Explore Engineering (FREE) project, the Colorado Coalition for Gender and IT (CCGIT), and the National Center for Women and IT (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Xitlali Galmez-Marquez Cabrillo College

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Xitlali Galmez-Marquez is a Mechanical Engineering student at San Jose State University, who transferred from Cabrillo College. She was a delegate in the 2017-2018 Cabrillo's Engineering Abroad Program. Her career goal is to work in humanitarian engineering, giving back to her local community and other countries.

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Patricia E. Sanders

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Eva Schiorring StemEval

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Eva Schiorring has almost two decades of experience in research and evaluation and special knowledge about STEM education in community colleges and four-year institutions. She presently serves as the external evaluator for four NSF-funded projects. These include evaluation of a first year experience in a majority-minority engineering college and an initiative to increase diversity in a predominantly white elite engineering college through collaboration with local community colleges. Ms. Schiorring is also evaluating an ATE project to bolster recruitment and preparation of diverse STEM teachers. Past projects include evaluation of an NSF-funded project to improve advising for engineering students at a major state university in California. Ms. Schiorring is the author and co-author of numerous papers and served as project lead on a major study of transfer in engineering. Ms. Schiorring holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. She is a graduate of NSF's I-Corps program for educators.

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Kurt Degregorio Cabrillo College

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I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Cabrillo College who has participated in Cabrillo's Engineering Abroad program. Currently, I am focusing on projects regarding sustainability, like designing no waste, circular systems by working with natural processes and working to build things out of "upcycled" materials.

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Abstract

This paper builds on the work presented in the article “Development of the Whole Student through an Engineering Abroad Service Learning Program: Rainwater Catchment/Filtration System in Guatemala.” at the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference.

Launched in 2013 and inspired by Madison Area Technical College Renewable Energy for the Developing World program and Purdue University’s EPICS, the Cabrillo College Engineering Abroad (EA) Program initially served 11 students. With the 2014 NSF EAGER support project “Strengthening Student Commitment through an Engineering Abroad Program” (#1446430), the program used lessons learned from the pilot phase to evaluate the impact that a full-year engineering abroad program has on financially at-risk and underrepresented community college engineering students.

The EA Program consists of a four phased model: (i) application process; (ii) preparation fall semester 2-unit ENGR 98A Global Engineering course building team spirit, studying Guatemala’s culture, politics and economy; learning about travel and worksite health; and conducting preliminary design for the abroad project; (iii) two-week engineering service-learning 1-unit ENGR 98B Engineering abroad course in Guatemala during the winter session working alongside community members in designing and building community-directed projects; (iv) reflection spring semester weekly meetings delivering presentations and papers on the experience to the Cabrillo College community, local engineering organizations, and at ASEE and Society of Professional Engineers (SHPE) conferences.

This paper presents both quantitative and qualitative obtained from the 2013-2017 abroad programs. The quantitative data was collected in the form of pre and post self-assessment surveys and institutional retention and transfer data. In the self-assessment surveys, students rated their industry skills, civic engagement, global cultural skills, personal and academic growth, and engineering skills based on Purdue University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program with a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) scale. There was an overall average increase from 6.84 to 8.80, resulting in a 28.7% increase in the students’ perceived skill set. The retention and the transfer rates of the abroad students were compared to a matched comparison group using Propensity Score Matching. In both instances, the EAP student outscored the comparison group by 27% in retention rates and 33% in transfer rates. Qualitative data was collected through focus groups and interviews of EA participants and surveys of abroad alumni. The Cabrillo Engineering Abroad Program has made and continues to make an impact on engineering students, enhancing their abilities and empowering them on their educational career path.

Panzardi, J., & Morris, T. D., & Galmez-Marquez, X., & Sanders, P. E., & Schiorring, E., & Degregorio, K. (2019, June), What Impact Does an Engineering Abroad Program Have on the Motivation and Commitment of Community College Engineering Students? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33553

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