2000 CEED Research

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.

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