NSF/EPSCoR Scope: LSAMP Student Research Symposium

  • Omer, Ingrid St (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky is extremely proud of its long standing relationship with the men and women in uniform that bravely serve this country. From its founding as a Land Grant University in 1865, charged with teaching agriculture, mechanics and military tactics, to its continuing production of leaders for the Army and Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corp, UK has consistently contributed to the defense of freedom. The UK College of Engineering (COE) is the only ranked engineering program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it plays a critical role in Kentucky's New Economy initiatives, and in UK's strategic plan. The COE is partnering with the newly established Veterans Resource Center (VRC), and Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) to develop clear programmatic guides for educating veterans in engineering and computer science in a manner that recognizes the unique characteristics of veterans as a community of interest. Our approach is grounded in the adult learning theories of Knowles and Lawler, the experiential learning theory of Kolb, the recommendations of the Veterans’ Education for Engineering and Science workshop report, and the recommendations developed from a case study completed by the University of Kentucky Military Veterans of America [Gayheart]. The three focus areas of our approach are: 1) Recruitment and Support Constructs, 2) Transition, and 3) Integration of Technical Experience. Recruitment and Retention strategies include development of “dummy proof” advertising and structured curriculum plans which incorporates BCTCblue+, a transfer/dual enrollment program between BCTC and UK that includes advising, guaranteed admission, UK courses at BCTC tuition rates, and more. This program offers pathways for BCTC students to COE baccalaureate degree programs to help address the time to graduation constraint. Institutional support constructs have begun to evolve through the new VRC, and both the COE and BCTC will leverage VRC knowledge to create discipline specific efforts. Transitional strategies comprise veteran orientation workshops, faculty training workshops, and on-campus community building activities. Although the registrar follows the American Council on Education's (ACE) recommendations for awarding credit for military training, there are no existing guidelines for mapping such training into ABET accredited engineering programs. The COE will utilize the knowledge and access of the VRC to establish which of the most commonly found training and coursework listed on Army/ACE Registry Transcript Service (AARTS) and Sailor/Marine/ACE Registry Transcript (SMART) transcripts can be mapped into an ABET equivalent course. Other integration strategies focus on the Engineering Cooperative Education Program. The developed recruitment materials, structured curriculum plans, ABET equivalency guides, and faculty-training materials will be easily transferable to a significant number of engineering programs. Thus, the intellectual merit of the proposed activity comes from the development of a broad range of educational materials designed for the veteran community. Further, the knowledge base developed from project evaluation (focus groups, surveys, interviews, observations, etc.) will provide data in regards to individual veterans and cohorts, which the NSF workshop report notes is a lacking. Gayheart’s study revealed an estimated 7,019 deployed veterans within a 65-mile radius of Lexington, KY, home to UK. He further noted that Ohio’s veteran population is fifth in the country with 1.1 million resident veterans. The broader impact of the proposed activity stems from both the potential increase in the technical workforce, and the economic contribution to the Commonwealth. Even if only 10-20% of the available veterans were reached, this would be a significant contribution on both fronts.
Effective start/end date9/1/088/31/10


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.