Strategic Alliances May Become Key Success Factors for Enhanced Experiential Learning: A Conceptual Framework for Implementation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Higher Education is confronted with the challenge of providing new and improved methods for delivering experiential learning opportunities for engineering undergraduate students. Our current article suggests coaching points based on two decades of capstone projects that have successfully promoted economic development in the region we serve, while simultaneously creating integrative opportunities for MBA and MS Engineering Technology Graduates to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. Recently we extended our alliance to a crossdisciplinary partnership between the College of Business and Technology and the College of Education. Our cross-disciplinary graduate student team addressed a highly nonlinear technology-education-business issue in a political scenario and recommended mutually beneficial solution paths. During the 2015 Annual ASEE Conference, a glaring need was revealed for enhanced experiential learning methodologies, and following a review of relevant literature, recent results of our applied research have identified a gap that can be closed. This gap is particularly acute at the graduate level where experiential learning is often critical in demonstrating mastery of the subject matter. Further research is necessary to refine the needs in engineering at the undergraduate level. However, it is anticipated that mutually beneficial strategic alliances will contribute to improved learning outcomes for undergraduate engineering students as well.