Document Type

Article - On Campus Only

Publication Date



First-year engineering students at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a primarily liberal arts private undergraduate institution, can participate in service-learning projects through an engineering living-learning community. In addition, service-learning projects were recently offered at LMU for first-year engineering students not participating in this living-learning community. The impact of service-learning on students' engineering design self-efficacy and engineering learning outcomes were assessed. An instrument was adapted from a combination of previously validated instruments that measure engineering design self-efficacy and interventional impacts on technical and professional engineering learning outcomes. The instrument also includes a reflection component on personal development, social impact, academic enhancement, university mission, and ethics. A mixed-methods approach was used to examine differences between first-year engineering students who participated in service-learning projects during the fall semester of 2014 and those who did not. Students participating in service-learning projects showed significantly higher gains in confidence in both technical and professional engineering skills. Female students in particular showed the most dramatic gains, with an average increase of 81.6% in technical engineering confidence as a result of their service-learning course. The higher gains in confidence can be attributed to the students learning more about how to identify and understand stakeholder needs and design requirements.

Recommended Citation

Siniawski, M. & Luca, S.G. & Pal, Jeremy & Saez, J.A.. (2015). Impacts of service-learning projects on the technical and professional engineering confidence of first year engineering students. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. 122.