The proposal focuses on the limitation of courses offered by the Material Science and Engineering department at Boise State University. The research will primarily focus on the courses that students have been experiencing most difficulty in registering, the critical ones and those offered only in a specific semester meaning potential impediment to a student’s graduation during their pursue for a degree. The research will treat the limitations in the Material Science and Engineering department as a picture of the inefficiencies present in the broader Engineering School.
Problem or Opportunity
The problem arises from personal experience on the impediments faced during my pursue for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During my journey, I was unable to take the required courses that enable completion of the degree in time. Inability for an Engineering student to take a specific course holds him or her back from enrolling for another course if the constrain is a pre-requisite or co-requisite of the desired course. This delays graduation time resulting in adverse secondary developments in the students such as lack of learning incentive, social isolation, education back lagging, cognitive and emotional stress and poor academic performance amongst many other adversities. The consequences are more severe for international students who experience lengthened living costs and difficulty in qualifying for employment opportunities.
Engineering students at Boise State University continue to face problems within the contexts of their academic life. These problems contrast the institution’s public image while revealing its managerial weaknesses. In this, the purpose of the research is to request the department’s top management, specifically the Chairman and Dean of Studies the permission to conduct the study in order to understand the problem in its implication thus allowing timely response. The consent allows data collection from the teaching and administration time meaning probable lapses in work-time from the employee base. It also includes access to University statistical records
The target audience of the report is any individual who interacts with the academic system present in the Engineering department at Boise State University meaning the report addresses both students and the administrative faculty. Specifically, the report aims at Mechanical Engineering students who wait three quarters of a year to apply for courses with laboratory based topics. Administration needs to understand this fault in their system and its implications on student life in order to implement strategic responses in timely fashion.
The research will aim to answer ‘How is the engineering college countering the lack of offered courses for engineering students?’ using both primary and secondary research methods. Primary research will entail
1.1 Engineering staff interviews
1.2 Meetings with the chairs of each department
1.3 An interview with the Engineering College’ academic advisors
- Field Research
2.1 Research other universities that faced the same problem but were able to address it
2.2 Research contract instructors capable to teach the required courses
Secondary research will research on other factors that result in students not being able to register for courses. Drawing from campus data, the examination will cover
- Students failing the same class
- Courses with laboratory associated services but do not meet the material requirements such as seat number
- Same courses with multiple instructors
For the project to attain successful completion, many meeting and interviews will be performed. Each meeting will consume an average of an hour while interviews will take an average of thirty minutes. The project requires a minimum of two minutes meaning two hours and fifteen interviews summing up to seven and a half work hours. Field researches will require an estimated time of ten hours. Analysis of data collected will require a minimum of five hours. As a result, the project is approximated to require 24.5 hours for successful completion.
Student surveys may prove vital in facilitating basic understanding of the problem and derivation of possible solutions from a perspective divergent from that of administration. If time proves to be a strict constrain, the research may consider inclusion of student focus groups.
Kariwo, Michael T, Tatiana Gounko, and Musembi Nungu. Comparative Analysis of Higher Education Systems: Issues, Challenges and Dilemmas. 2014. Print.
Rugg, Gordon, and Marian Petre. A Gentle Guide to Research Methods. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007. Print.
Sarker, F. Hugh Davis and Thanassis Tiropanis. A Review of Higher Education Challenges and Data Infrastructure Responses. International Journal of Educational Planning & Administration. 3, 1, (2013). 25-33. Print.
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