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Pasadena, United States

Palomo M.,California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Cole J.A.,Pasadena City College PCC
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2015

The purpose of this project is the bridging between California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) Civil Engineering students and Pasadena City College (PCC) science students to enhance the curriculum at both institutions. While enhancing the curriculum, the project seeks to improve the retention of both Cal Poly Pomona and PCC students, and to facilitate the transfer of PCC students to Cal Poly Pomona. Indirectly, the project promotes graduate school opportunities and lifelong learning in an inter-institutional disciplinary environment. One of the main ideas behind this project is the development of teams composed of both PCC students and Cal Poly Pomona students. These student teams work on the design of natural treatment systems to remediate contaminated surface water streams. They are mentored in their research by Cal Poly Pomona and PCC faculty members. Cal Poly Pomona used the peer mentor-learning process by assigning senior student mentors to the untrained student groups. Senior student mentors provided support to their mentees while conducting experimental work in the lab, while analyzing data, and during poster and research report preparation. Several courses were offered at both institutions to develop the collaborative approach. Faculty members in both institutions worked together on the development of a platform to foster student interaction through the use of fieldtrips and social media. This novel approach boosted student involvement, and allowed sustained collaboration among students interested in multiple disciplines (engineering, biology, biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, health, etc.). The end result is a project with multi-tiered benefits: the strengthening of inter-institutional bonds between PCC and Cal Poly Pomona, the creation of a pathway for students to transfer from PCC to Cal Poly Pomona, the training of undergraduate students with basic research skills, and the early fostering of both inter-institutional interactions and graduate studies interests. All of these benefits are achieved in an environment that is inviting and engaging for young students, while at the same time fulfills curricular requirements. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2015. Source

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