Authors: James Giancaspro; Nam Ju Kim
Addresses: Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Miami, 1251 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA ' Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami, 5202 University Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term (ten-year) impact of a small, yet unique, outreach effort where three teams of undergraduate students were paired with their parental counterparts to conduct civil engineering research supported by the US National Science Foundation. Those students are compared to a control group of undergraduates who participated in a traditional research experience and were exposed to the same conditions and research project. A survey instrument was used to collect data related to the participants' actual career path trajectory, self-efficacy, scholarly productivity, and parental influence in their decisions for postgraduate education and career planning. Parental support for students' postgraduate plans either remained unchanged or increased following the research experience. While the participants in the student-parent teams produced more scholarly products than the control group in the decade following the experience, the sample size is too small to draw causal inferences.
Keywords: research experience for undergraduates; REU; engineering education; civil engineering; parent involvement; career trajectory.
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2021 Vol.31 No.4, pp.419 - 438
Received: 15 Nov 2019
Accepted: 22 Apr 2020
Published online: 20 Oct 2021 *