As a member of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) and the new Next Generation Service Corps (NGSC), I began this project interested in investigating the benefits and outcomes of these programs on my development throughout my undergraduate experience. Since interdisciplinarity is a core component of both programs, my thesis focused on the development and analysis of a survey to measure the interdisciplinary competence of undergraduate students in various programs and majors throughout ASU. In order to develop the survey items, we adapted questions by Lattuca, et al, which only analyzed the interdisciplinary competence of engineering students. Based on our responses, the quantitative data surfaced some interesting discrepancies between students in engineering and non-engineering majors. Broadly, the data also showed that students in GCSP and NGSC have higher interdisciplinary competence, implying there may be some benefits to both. Additionally, a preliminary theme analysis of the qualitative data seems to demonstrate that students appreciate a wide variety of opportunities to be exposed to disciplines outside of their primary major, and programs such as GCSP and NGSC which highlight interdisciplinarity expose students to opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. In the future, I would recommend evaluating the impact of students’ motivations for joining each program and examining the possible implications on their interdisciplinary competence. There are other outcomes that weren’t examined as part of this study, so it may also be interesting for future researchers to investigate other components of each program like the impacts of service learning or entrepreneurial experiences.
- Analyzing Interdisciplinary Competence at ASU
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