ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Leveraging civic engagement opportunities to increase URM engineering students' science identity, belonging, and persistence: a workshop for faculty and advisors

In this workshop, we propose to address the benefits and mechanisms of incorporating civic engagement opportunities into student support programs. We will present a literature-based overview and justification for inclusion of service opportunities in engineering programs. In particular, we will examine the effects of participating in volunteer opportunities that encourage students to draw upon their math and science expertise in ways that allow students to contribute to their communities. Furthermore, workshop participants will be exposed to the evidence for improved engagement and engineering identity as a result of these opportunities. Additionally, we will use case studies of student support programs that have integrated civic engagement to demonstrate the benefits to students and discuss challenges and successes of incorporating both compulsory and non-compulsory volunteer hours. Through active, facilitated discussion, we will explore the actual and potential civic engagement opportunities available to students of programs represented by workshop participants. Finally, as small groups, we will use the design thinking process to address the problem of incorporating and increasing service learning in these programs; faculty and advisors will exchange ideas about their programs and provide feedback to each other in this facilitated activity. Participants will leave the workshop with a valuable list of resources, an enhanced network, and a basic plan for integrating or improving civic engagement opportunities as part of the student experience at their institutions.


Pamela Leggett-Robinson    
Georgia State University - Georgia Perimeter
United States

Brandi Villa    
Belay Consulting LLC
United States

Naranja Davis    
Georgia State University - Georgia Perimeter
United States


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