Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Leveraging Cooperative Education Experiences to Enhance and Develop the Capstone Design Course


School of Engineering


Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Date Range





At [institution], cooperative education experience is integrated into all engineering programs and is required for graduation. Beginning the summer following the sophomore year the students spend alternate semesters with an industry partner. Skills gained during these semesters are readily applied and leveraged to enhance the capstone experience that entails industry sponsored design and build style projects. The ability to comfortably interact with professionals in an industrial environment, manage projects entailing interactions with other portions of the business outside of engineering such as purchasing, skilled trades, marketing, sales and others allows a wide variety of challenging projects to be considered for the capstone design course. Frequently capstone projects are proposed by companies that currently have one or more co-op students. If appropriate, the co-op student acts as the point of contact between the student team and the industry sponsor. This minimizes the amount of miscommunication and also allows faster turn-around times for activities such as purchase orders, work orders and decision making. This allows projects which may otherwise be out of scope for a two semester course sequence to be accepted, and in turn increases the value to the sponsoring companies and the student experience. Sponsoring companies have frequently hired students that were identified as part of a capstone team that performed well. This paper will present a variety of capstone projects that were made possible by students having the skills and experience acquired through their cooperative education experiences.

Conference Name

Annual Conference

Conference Location

Seattle, Washington

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