Many schools are emphasizing non-traditional and extracurricular learning experiences for undergraduate engineering students. These include activities such as incorporating servicelearning projects into the classroom, involving students in design competitions (e.g., solar car, formula car races), and promoting involvement in traditional campus organizations. Often this emphasis is in response to changes in ABET requirements, desires of future employers, and needs to improve student retention. What are the effects of emphasizing these sorts of activities on student attitudes and time management decisions? We examine the influences on students' priorities for allocating their time and their perceptions of the relative importance of available activities, especially traditional coursework. We present data relating key personality and motivational factors to patterns of student social involvement, organizational commitment, academic performance, and work habits and attitudes. Implications for educators and potential cost-benefit trade-offs for particular student subpopulations are also presented.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2005: Jun. 12-15, Portland, OR)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Keywords and Phrases

Design competitions; Engineering students; Extracurricular learning; Schools; Competition; Cost benefit analysis; Curricula; Learning systems; Societies and institutions; Students; Engineering education

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2005 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.