The challenge of creating impactful and long-lasting service opportunities for engineering students lies in how to best implement programs in the unique setting of each academic institution. This paper presents a critical reflection of two different models of learning through service opportunities for engineering students that have evolved over the past six years at Loyola Marymount University. In particular, we highlight the history and lessons learned from four different case studies involving both extra-curricular international service projects and course-based service-learning opportunities for engineering students. Overall lessons learned that emerged from our experience include: 1) Students should receive course credit for participating in engineering-oriented service projects; 2) Opportunities for student participation should be vertically integrated throughout the curriculum; 3) Develop and sustain long-lasting relationships with your community partners; 4) Obtain university support for long-term success; 5) Start to conduct assessment of your stakeholders; and 6) Utilize the resources at your institution in order to promote cooperation. We hope that our lessons learned can be used to help guide other primarily undergraduate institutions in implementing service-oriented engineering projects.
Siniawski, Matthew T., et al. “Creating Learning through Service Opportunities for Engineering Students: Lessons Learned from a Primarily Undergraduate Liberal Arts Institution.” International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, vol. 9, Sept. 2014, pp. 240–255. doi:10.24908/ijsle.v0i0.5551.