Mixed method approach to evaluate sustainability thinking among the next generation of civil and environmental engineers

Fethiye Ozis, Nihal Sarikaya, Roy St Laurent, Daniel'le April DeVoss

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Millions of young people, as part of a global movement, raised their voices and called for an urgent action on September 21, 2019. A major concern in educating the next generation of civil and environmental engineers is to not only have them understand and appreciate sustainability as a core aspect of being an engineer, but also take action, at a personal and professional level. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate civil and environmental engineering students' development of sustainability thinking. For this study, knowledge, attitude, perceived responsibility, and activism are defined as indicators of sustainability thinking. Using questionnaires as an instrument, a mixed method convergent-parallel design was employed to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data, concurrently. Over 80% of the students reported that they changed their lifestyle preferences to live more sustainably, because of their learning in the course. Half of the students, who turned their intentions into action, adapted a behavior to conserve water. Although students reported improved awareness, some students identified financial reasons that obstructed their transition to a greener lifestyle. Environmental engineering students expressed greater intent to practice green living, when compared to civil engineering students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1023
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2020-June
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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