Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

UAF Access Only - Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Pohl, Ed

Reader

Sullivan, Kelly

Second Reader

Jensen, David

Third Reader

Hill, Bryan

Abstract

Researchers analyze an international service-learning trip at the University of Arkansas, which takes undergraduate students to serve the Dangriga community in Belize. First, an in-depth literature review was conducted on the history, growth, and current state of the teaching methods in the area of service-learning. Studies were categorized by four main constraints: service-learning in general, service-learning in STEM, service-learning in engineering, and international service-learning. The literature was then used to develop a mixed-method approach to analyze the Belize service-learning program. Participants included students in order to provide a fresh perspective and alumni in order to provide the long-term perceptions. Interviews were utilized as a qualitative method, and online-surveys as a quantitative method.

In the end, researchers found strong correlations between the findings of the two research methods (qualitative and quantitative), as participants expressed similar self-perceived learning’s through both the interviews and surveys. The main areas of personal development were found to be in the areas of problem solving, creative thinking, and adaptability. The main areas of social development were found to be an ability to work in teams, an overall global awareness, and an increase in self-confidence. On the future development of the program, participants expressed a desire to see the service-learning program promoted more heavily across campus, incorporate more cross-disciplinary interaction, and lengthen the in-country duration of the trip. Finally, this research established a structured method for conducting future research into service-learning at the University of Arkansas.

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