Jessica Macklin Presents at ASEE Conference in Seattle

This summer, QUEST’s Program Coordinator, Jessica Macklin, had the opportunity to spread knowledge and excitement for the QUEST program across the country while presenting at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Seattle, Washington.

ASEE is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. ASEE develops policies and programs that enhance professional opportunities for engineering faculty members, and promotes activities that support increased student enrollments in engineering at universities, as well as acts as a channel of open communication and networking among corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions.

This year’s conference, held June 14th-17th, featured over 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education. Jessica presented on a paper detailing the evolution of the QUEST program, authored by Program Director Kylie King and herself, titled “Twenty Years of Multidisciplinary Capstone Projects: Design, Implementation and Assessment.” They were aided in their discussion of capstone projects by quotes from QUEST alumni, Debbie Feinberg (Q1) and Ori Zohar (Q12).

Much as technology and the practice of engineering has evolved over the past 20 years, QUEST capstone projects have constantly been changing to reflect these engineering evolutions and to provide students with the skills and experiences relevant to the real world environment they are about to enter. Capstone projects have shifted with the times, from conducting market analysis for a printing company, to creating a recycling solutions for a construction company, to rethinking a telecommunications company’s cybersecurity training.

With these relevant and challenging capstone projects, it’s only natural that both the students and corporate partners would continue to reap the benefits of the program over time. In a recent survey, over 80% of QUEST students evaluated themselves as “Proficient” or “Advanced” on every course learning outcome. In the past 3 years, over 50% of all projects have had a lasting impact for the sponsoring organization, and over 90% of teams have exceeded client expectations. Nearly 60% of QUEST students who work full-time after graduation have taken a job with a sponsoring organization.

Jessica used these fantastic findings to share suggestions about engineering education with the other conference goers, stressing the importance of learning outcomes, having a variety of stakeholders in the process, and utilizing multidisciplinary teams. She and Kylie hope their research and the success of the QUEST program will help to inspire other schools and colleges to develop similar programs and initiatives, and one day emulate such incredible results.

To read the full paper, click here!

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