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ERIC Number: ED529013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 134
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-9693-8
Factors Relating to Faculty Engagement in Cooperative Engineering Education
Friedrich, Bernadette J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that may relate to engineering faculty engagement in Cooperative Education (Co-op). My intent was to identify specific personal attributes and environmental conditions that relate to faculty engagement in cooperative education. I compared the engagement level of engineering faculty from programs with similar characteristics. A web-based instrument was used to survey faculty from ten universities. Follow-up interviews were completed with select faculty survey respondents. The selection process guaranteed a blend of faculty representing two institutions, one high in faculty engagement, and one low in faculty engagement. The faculty from each institution represented both high and low levels of engagement. Findings from this study indicated some significant factors that relate to faculty engagement in co-op. The statistical analysis showed a positive relationship between the faculty co-op engagement score and the respondents' engineering (industry-related, outside of higher education) work experience. The other personal attributes or experiences examined, major/engineering discipline, academic rank, or years of teaching had no statistically significant relationship to level of co-op engagement. The analysis indicated a positive relationship between level of engagement and the perceived level of environmental support for co-op from the department, college, and the institution. The research did indicate that faculty who feel that they are adequately compensated for engaging in co-op are actually less likely to be involved, and as the faculty level of engagement increases, faculty are more likely to perceive that compensation is not adequate. Overall, co-op is valued by the survey respondents. A majority of the faculty surveyed indicated that: (1) students benefit from cooperative education; (2) co-op enhances the quality of the interaction between students and faculty; (3) classroom learning is enhanced by cooperative education; and (4) co-op helps students to understand engineering concepts. However, the findings show that valuing co-op does not necessarily translate into faculty engaging in co-op activities. Finally, the research tells us that faculty engagement in co-op is not an indicator of student participation in co-op. College and university administrators need to evaluate their orientation procedures and promotion and tenure practices in relation to their support of cooperative education activities. Co-op program administrators also have opportunities to enhance faculty engagement in cooperative education through several additional actions. One strategy for increasing faculty engagement in co-op is through educating faculty regarding their co-op program, student experiences in co-op, and benefits to students, the college, and the faculty. There has not been any published research related to the visibility of the co-op program within the colleges and the influence that may have on student participation. We may also need to consider the reputation of the co-op program among students and employers and the availability of co-op positions within the region, just to name a few of the factors that may contribute to strong student participation in co-op, with or without strong faculty engagement in cooperative education activities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A