Improving Student Achievement Through an Industry Placement
A carefully constructed work integrated learning experience called the Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) has been a feature of one of the Griffith University undergraduate engineering programs for 18 years. In 2005 the decision was made to extend this program to all disciplines of engineering. 2006 was a transition year and civil engineering students had the option of participating in the Civil IAP or undertaking the Traditional Thesis. Both options run over both semesters of final year and carried the same academic weighting. The Civil IAP involved undertaking a project during a one day per week industry placement with both an industry and a university supervisor. The Thesis was a project or piece of research conducted within the university laboratories with a university supervisor. The Thesis project has often arisen from an industry source. Students were given the option of completing IAP or Thesis, with about one-third choosing the IAP. The final year academic performance of civil engineering students participating in the Industrial Affiliates Program has been compared with the students choosing the Thesis option. Comparatively, IAP participants appear to achieve higher grades.
Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education 2007