Past Award Winners

Cooperative Education and the Architecture Student

Prinicipal Researcher: Dr. Vasso Apostolides
Affiliation: University of Cincinnati
Title: Associate Professor of Architecture
email: vasso.apostolides@uc.edu

Abstract:

Professor Apostolides' research project developed instructional methods to facilitate the planning and monitoring of co-op work assignments through quality control. The research statistically examined qualitative/quantitative evaluations of co-op work assignments to identify aspects that most contributed to effective integration of classroom learning with cooperative work experience. This project is a pilot process for developing co-op work outlines for architecture students, and can serve as a model for other disciplines.

Process of Cooperative Education Learning

Prinicipal Researcher: Dr. Patricia L. Linn
Affiliation: Antioch College
Title: Associate Professor of Psychology
email: plinn@college.antioch.edu

Abstract:

While many educational institutions are including cooperative education of other work-based learning programs into their curricula, little is known about the processes by which co-op experiences have their positive effects. This study will use archived documents, a questionnaire, and an in-depth interview of 45 graduates of Antioch College from 1946-1975 to investigate the processes of co-op learning. Theoretical frameworks to be used to analyze the qualitative data include self-efficacy, intellectual development, and ethical/moral development theories.

Two grant applications were funded in 2000 for the first combined CEA/CEED Research Grant:

GRANT 1: Submitted by Nancy Johnston (nancy_davidge-johnston@sfu.edu), M.Sc. and Nello Angerilli (nello_angerilli@sfu.edu), Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. The title of the research is How to Measure the Co-op Experience: Assessing Learning and Transfer Between School and Work.

Research Abstract: Much of the co-op research to date has looked at measuring various outcomes (including employability, wages, confidence, grades in school, satisfaction with educational program, etc.) particularly as they differ between co-op students and their non co-op counterparts. Co-op has generally fared very well in these comparisons but why? What is learned in co-op and how does this learning transfer from one context to another (evidence of the learning)? How can we measure what one gains from a given experience? This proposal is designed to address these questions in two ways. First, by developing a research tool that will provide ways of assessing student learning and determining ways in which this learning is effectively transferred from one context to another. And second, by testing the tool on an interdisciplinary sample group of co-op students and reporting on the results.

GRANT 2: Submitted by Emanuel Contomanolis (exc4157@rit.edu), M.A. (and Ph.D. candidate), Rochester Institute of Technology.

Research Abstract: The study will identify the attitudes towards cooperative education and specific teaching techniques used in instructing co-op students by engineering faculty at the 10 largest engineering co-op programs. Utilizing a survey approach, the study outcomes should help inform the knowledge base concerning faculty involvement in cooperative education and specifically if and how the work experiences of co-op students are accounted for and integrated by faculty in college classroom instruction.

This study will attempt to investigate the impact that participation in co-op has for college students just entering college and for those who have had a longer experience in the co-op program, including at least one work assignment.

The focus will be on two important aspects to the career development process, Career Indecision and Career Decision Making Self-Efficacy. The researcher will attempt to determine if participation in co-op will show a difference in the level of decideness from non-co-op participants. Also the researcher will attempt to determine whether co-op participants show a greater level of Career Decision Making Self-Efficacy. The latter is a construct that essentially looks at the confidence level in making career-related decisions. The theory holds that the greater the level of confidence one holds for making career-related decisions, the more apt that individual will be to engage in the subsequent behaviors and activities required in the career planning process. Both constructs are important to practitioners and prospective students who may be seeking the means to enhance career preparation and more systematically achieve career success.

Two grant applications were funded in 2001 for the CEA/CEED Research Grant:

GRANT 1: Submitted by Dr. Lori Braunstein and Dr. Robert Lupton from Central Washington University. The title of the research is Cost Analysis of Cooperative Education: An Organizational Self-Analysis.

Research Abstract: A review of cooperative education literature reveals very few, if any, generalizable studies to determine the true employer costs of cooperative education programs. Having this knowledge would help employers determine break-even points, set and maintain goals for cost-effective co-op programs (if cost-effectiveness is a desired goal), and compare their organizational costs against other organizations’ costs. Knowing organizational costs of co-op programs might help colleges and universities recruit and retain quality employers. Additionally, the researchers can benefit in long-term, trend analysis of the data.

Conducting a traditional research study, limited in participants and generalizability to the co-op community, however, might not be the best solution. The development of an individualized, user-friendly self-assessment web tool is the key to this research proposal. Implementing an internet-based cyber calculator to help employers collect and analyze their costs will benefit employers, colleges and universities and the co-op profession.

GRANT 2: Submitted by Aminta Hawkins Breaux, Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Temple University. Former Assistant Provost at Drexel University and currently Dean of Students at University of the Science in Philadelphia. The title of the research is &quotImpact of Participation in Cooperative Education on Career Indecision and Career Decision Making Self-efficacy for College Students."

Research Abstract: Cooperative education has been widely touted as a means to advance the career preparation of college students since the early 1900’s. Each year thousands of young college students enter co-op programs and expect that at the end of the academic experience they will have a clearer direction and possibly a job after graduation. However, each year there are students enrolled in co-op programs who do not meet with the same success as their counterparts.

This study will attempt to investigate the impact that participation in co-op has for college students just entering college and for those who have had a longer experience in the co-op program, including at least one work assignment.

The focus will be on two important aspects to the career development process, Career Indecision and Career Decision Making Self-Efficacy. The researcher will attempt to determine if participation in co-op will show a difference in the level of decideness from non-co-op participants. Also the researcher will attempt to determine whether co-op participants show a greater level of Career Decision Making Self-Efficacy. The latter is a construct that essentially looks at the confidence level in making career-related decisions. The theory holds that the greater the level of confidence one holds for making career-related decisions, the more apt that individual will be to engage in the subsequent behaviors and activities required in the career planning process. Both constructs are important to practitioners and prospective students who may be seeking the means to enhance career preparation and more systematically achieve career success.

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