Service efforts within engineering
education has become an emergent opportunity for engineering education.
Engineers Without Borders represents one of a number of national programs
in which student involvement has been nothing short of explosive. Yet,
partly due to the grassroots development of many of these programs,
partly due to their rapid rise, there are few findings on the impacts
of these programs on engineering education.
This panel session of the EWB-USA
Northeast Regional Workshop will focus on the expected outcomes from
service efforts in engineering education. Panel participants will
actively participate in the session via a survey on expected outcomes.
This session will also explore the impacts of service in engineering
education in the United States as reviewed in an NSF-funded study conducted
over the last year. Central to this study are the findings from the
NSF-sponsored Summit on
Measuring the Impacts of Project-Based Service Learning on Engineering
Education, held February
19-20, 2009 in Washington DC, as well as a number of panel/special session
at engineering education conferences in 2009. Study efforts have leveraged
the collective expertise of participants to identify desired outcome
metrics, quality assessment methods, and key next steps needed in understanding
the impacts of service on engineering education. The Summit findings
will form the basis of a final report, Measuring
the Impacts of Project-Based Service Learning on Engineering Education, to be disseminated nationally in early
2010. Participants will be given access to free final report
copies upon completion.
This session has the potential
for many broad, positive impacts. Faculty and students involved in service
efforts in engineering education seek guidance on how to better understand
how such programs are affecting them, and how to design the best experiences
possible. Other stakeholders are also interested in the outcomes, such
as university administrators who are eager to better understand the
“magic” behind these programs in order to infuse some of it to those
that are not imbued with similar excitement and interest.
Biography - Chris Swan (Tufts University):
Chris Swan is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and adjunct associate professor of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He also serves as managing partner of E3 Innovative Materials, LLC; a company focused on the research and development of viable reuse strategies for waste materials. Dr. Swan has also served as chair of Tufts CEE department (2002-2007), as an officer in the Environmental Engineering division of ASEE (2001-2005), and as one of the inaugural Faculty Fellows of the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. He also has experience in engineering practice having worked for an engineering consulting firm specializing in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Dr. Swan’s current interests lie in the areas of waste reuse, recycling, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, and service in the engineering curriculum – often in synergistic ways. Such synergies naturally progressed to research on engineering education and training utilizing project-based learning and service-learning pedagogies – specifically their potential impacts on student learning and how these impacts may be evaluated and assessed.