Engineering Service Learning and Entrepreneurship Opportunities
Uei-Jiun Fan, Jawaharlal Mariappan, and Saeed Monemi, California State Polytechnic University
Traditionally, engineering has been engaged with the community beyond the campus boundaries through technical assistance programs, university extension, and the work of individual faculty serving as consultants to community organizations. Community engagement is usually not systematically integrated within the engineering curriculum. Service learning is a pedagogy that provides students with structured opportunities to learn, develop, and reflect through active participation and thoughtfully organized community involvement. It enhances the academic experience of students by relating academic content and course objectives to issues in the community. Service learning projects indicate a real need, and many of the projects contain market potential and favorable conditions for entrepreneurial opportunities. These opportunities not only are real and make business sense, but they also directly benefit a community while meeting educational objectives. This paper describes our efforts to develop an effective engineering service learning model that also provides socially responsible entrepreneurial opportunities.
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