Table of Contents

Congratulations on a Smart Decision
a foreword by Gregory W. Brown,
Assistant Dean, College of Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Guide to Student Success in Engineering at Community College:
an introduction by Lisa McLoughlin, PhD
Chapter 1: Academic Aspects of the Community College Journey 1
Chapter 2: Non-Academic Aspects of the Community College Journey 31
Chapter 3: Organization 65
Chapter 4: Being a Good Student 83
Glossary 113
Appendix: Getting a Job and Related Internet Issues 115
Appendix Part 1: How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation 116
Appendix Part 2: Interview Basics 120
Appendix Part 3: Basic Resumé 122
Appendix Part 4: Email, Social Media, and Internet 124
About the Author 129
Book + Shipping

Order Books

---Please note: Books purchased directly from this website or the publisher are not returnable---

Recommendations for...

Current and Future Community College Engineering Students:

In this book, Lisa McLoughlin has created a GPS of sorts that allows for many recalculations. As you read Guide to Student Success in Engineering at Community College, you will find not only helpful but useful information about the process of advancing your academic degree from the community college to a bachelor’s degree. Strategies and practices highlighted from this book will help you have a more positive experience and make your progress much more efficient.
 —Gregory W. Brown, Assistant Dean, College of Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

This guide is a remarkable gift to students seeking careers as engineers or engineering technicians! Through years of research, Dr. McLoughlin has shown how learning to "be organized" can help you not only build confidence and a record of accomplishment in school, but also be affirming for you as a person. Drawing on a multitude of student experiences, this packed resource will help you find your way through community college and, if that's your goal, into an engineering school. It will also help you better reflect on and understand each career decision as you make it. If nothing else, read Chapter 3!
 —Gary Downey, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

You are the only person responsible for your future, and only you can push yourself to graduate. When entering into college you must become educated on how every decision you make will impact your success as a student and your future career. In this book, Dr. McLoughlin has illustrated what common decisions a student must make and the integral role advisors play in their success. I was in your shoes, and from my experience the guidance provided in this book will help. Thank you, Lisa, and thank you community college.
 —Joe Moriarty, Advanced Mechanical Reliability Engineer, Eastman Chemical Company

[This book is] for those who want more.
 —Ho-Zhen Chen, Doctoral Environmental Engineering Student

Community College Engineering Professors and Professionals:

This book will be a big help in my Introduction to Engineering class. It will help to set the stage for continuing student success in this demanding field.
 —Ted Johnson, Engineering Program Chair, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, Massachusetts

This guide provides community college students, who are often low-income and first generation students, with a roadmap to develop knowledge, financial, social and cultural capital necessary to succeed in engineering transfer. Making this resource available to faculty, advisors, and, more importantly, to students who need it the most is one way to address social justice and diversity in the engineering workforce. When a national debate about the value of community colleges is gaining momentum, this guide will bring much needed advice on how to get an ‘invisible minority’ to contribute to engineering problems facing our nation.
 —Liz Cox, Director, Red Rocks Innovations in STEM Education, Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, Colorado

This is an excellent, carefully crafted, step-by-step guide for community college engineering students who want to transfer to four-year colleges for a bachelor’s degree in engineering. McLoughlin is just the right person to write this. As a scholar studying transfer, and as a professor working with transfer students, I am so glad this book is now available.
 —Becky Wai-Ling Packard, PhD, Director, Weissman Center for Leadership & Associate Dean of Faculty, Mount Holyoke College

Engineering and Education Researchers:

With tremendous clarity, the Guide to Student Success in Engineering at Community College transforms conventional thinking about Community College technical programs from little understood or the “second best” option for students to a vital career stepping stone. Its wide ranging advice, covering everything from school and program choice to the study habits of effective engineering aspirants, identifies both challenges and opportunities that two-year students are likely to encounter…a body of information provided by no other single resource I know of. By covering myriad day-to-day matters of work organization and course planning that many students must otherwise learn on their own, if at all, the Guide to Student Success in Engineering at Community College fills a gap rarely acknowledged, let alone filled, in STEM education. Most exciting, the book’s strong commitment towards enabling student transfer into four-year engineering programs will empower many readers realistically to achieve Bachelor’s level and higher credentials. Capturing the excellent pedagogy, affordability, and flexible structure of two-year engineering programs, and the fundamental point that Community Colleges want students to succeed, McLoughlin shines a bright and welcoming light on some of the most equitable opportunities we now have in American higher technical education.
 —Amy E. Slaton, PhD, Professor of History, Drexel University

This is an essential, practical guide to navigating two-year college pathways into engineering degrees and careers. It lends much-needed transparency to processes that are often obscure to students. The book is highly relevant and laid out in a manner that makes accessing essential information a breeze. In a supportive manner, students learn helpful strategies for everything from career planning, to navigating administrative structures, to study skills, to personal growth. A must-read not only for community college students studying engineering but also for faculty at two and four year institutions interested in supporting students and building smoother pathways between two and four year programs.
 —Donna Riley, PhD, Department of Engineering Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

About the Author

Lisa McLoughlin, PhD

As an engineering professor and co-chair of the engineering program at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA, Lisa McLoughlin taught and advised hundreds of community college engineering students. She has researched and published articles on engineering education in academic journals, reviewed proposals for the National Science Foundation, consulted for various grants, and presented on engineering education internationally. She holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a MEd in Math, Science, and Instructional Technology from the University of Massachusetts, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Contact the Author

To book Dr. McLoughlin for speaking engagements, or to contact her for any other reason, please email