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Work in Progress: Immersive First-Year Experience for Bioengineering Curricula

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

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Jennifer R. Amos University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Dr Amos joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Sr Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate programs. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina. She has developed and offered more than 5 courses since joining the faculty and has taken the lead roll in curriculum development for the department.

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Marcia Pool University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Dr. Marcia Pool is a Lecturer in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her career, Marcia has been active in improving undergraduate education through developing problem-based laboratories to enhance experimental design skills; developing a preliminary design course focused on problem identification and market space (based on an industry partner’s protocol); and mentoring and guiding student teams through the senior design capstone course and a translational course following senior design. To promote biomedical/bioengineering, Marcia works with Women in Engineering to offer outreach activities and is engaged at the national level as Executive Director of the biomedical engineering honor society, Alpha Eta Mu Beta.

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Karin Jensen University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16

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John Vozenilek

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Many students choose a college major based on difficulty, selectivity, popularity, or their interpretation of the major and interest in the subject matter. Most students do not begin seeking experiences related to their profession until later in their college career. However, developing an understanding of the professional opportunities while also participating in activities related to the major allows students to solidify their choice of major and begin developing their professional identity and defining their professional goals. To assist students in developing their professional identity and behavior, an immersive, first-year experience with shadowing components was developed to renovate an Introduction to Bioengineering course at a large university. This type of experience is designed to expose students to the professional environment with a didactic and self-reflective curriculum, thereby supporting students in their early professional development. The class was taken from a passive seminar series that broadly covered the bioengineering field to one split into three career-centered foci, each with an overview and experience: i) Industry with topics in career fair strategies, networking, information literacy, and corporate skills with a simulated industry internship to create artificial membrane for kidney dialysis, ii) Healthcare professions with topics in healthcare operations, emergency medicine, inpatient care, and electronic medical records with a clinical shadowing experience, and iii) Research with topics in experimental design, ethics, scientific literature, and translating technologies with a research laboratory shadowing experience. Students self-selected into the three sections during an advising session and were asked to provide information before classes started to help facilitate setting up the shadowing experiences. Each section had the same number of lecture and immersion hours outside of class. Assignments, which consisted of weekly reflective journals, participation, and a group poster reviewing the experience, were also kept similar between the sections. Surveys were administered at the end of the experience in order to capture students’ perceived professional formation, career identity, commitment to major, and overall satisfaction with the course. Focus groups were also conducted for more qualitative and detailed feedback.

Amos, J. R., & Pool, M., & Jensen, K., & Vozenilek, J. (2016, June), Work in Progress: Immersive First-Year Experience for Bioengineering Curricula Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27015

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