Student-parent teams: A ten-year retrospective study of an undergraduate research experience

James Giancaspro, Nam Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term (ten-year) impact of a small, yet unique, outreach effort where three teams of undergraduate students were paired with their parental counterparts to conduct civil engineering research supported by the US National Science Foundation. Those students are compared to a control group of undergraduates who participated in a traditional research experience and were exposed to the same conditions and research project. A survey instrument was used to collect data related to the participants’ actual career path trajectory, self-efficacy, scholarly productivity, and parental influence in their decisions for postgraduate education and career planning. Parental support for students’ postgraduate plans either remained unchanged or increased following the research experience. While the participants in the student-parent teams produced more scholarly products than the control group in the decade following the experience, the sample size is too small to draw causal inferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-438
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Career trajectory
  • Civil engineering
  • Engineering education
  • Parent involvement
  • Research experience for undergraduates
  • REU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)


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