2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, Washington.

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Recent growth in community engagement programs in engineering education clearly reveals the importance of understanding partnerships between the engagement programs and the community they work with. However, there has been minimal research and reflection on engineering education partnerships. In this special session, the participants will learn about theoretical frameworks that categorize different types of interactions within partnerships and practical implications on how to structure programs that make the community an integral part of the community engagement experience. The special session will be highly interactive, and will be grounded in the Transactional, Cooperative, and Communal (TCC) Framework that categorizes interactions within partnerships. This framework was developed as part of one of the facilitator’s dissertation work. In transactional interactions, there is a heightening of the boundary between the community and the program; an “us” and “them” relationship is present. This can be negative when the interactions are unilateral and the program makes decisions for the community without input or dialog. The second type of interactions is cooperative, and the boundary between the community and the program are intentionally blurred. The community members and program members come together, each offering skills and expertise to the project. The third type is communal, these interactions transcend the roles of the individuals and connect to the deeper needs of the individual and community as a whole. In these interactions and activities the individuals see beyond an “us” and “them” and recognize the process as a “we”, developed friendships, and gained a sense of ownership in the process. The partnership can change through out the design process, and often to not focus on a specific type of interaction, but balances a combination of interactions. The beginning of the workshop will include examples of the different partnerships through thought-­‐provoking videos and analyzing case studies. We will then engage in deep reflections related to concept of partnership and communities, and test firsthand some design tools that participants can teach to students to involve and integrate their community partners, and facilitate more cooperative and communal interactions within the partnerships. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to self-­evaluate their own past and current partnerships, see how program structures can influence the nature of interactions of the partnerships, and assess the differences that these partnerships can make in the success or failures of our programs and the communities. Participants will leave the session with a practical action plan to implement the types of partnerships they wish to build with their community partners.The workshop will be 90 minutes and will be available for around 40 participants. The target audience is individual who are currently involved in community engagement programs, or members who are interested in being involved. We are looking for sponsorship from possibly the Community Engagement division, the Liberal Education & Engineering Society Division and the International division.


2015, ASEE

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