June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.13.1 - 15.13.13
A Case Study on Transforming Undergraduate Engineering Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Abstract
Several reports such as the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) The Engineer of 2020 and Educating the Engineer of 2020 document the changing nature of engineering as well as the changing world in which engineers practice. As The Engineer of 2020 and others argue, this changing landscape that our graduates face strongly suggests a need to change the preparation our students receive.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been facilitating change in the undergraduate program to promote a different kind of engineering education. To provide leadership and strategy for change, the College of Engineering (CoE) formed the Engineering Beyond Boundaries EB2 Task Force (TF) consisting of a core group of faculty.. Through a series of focus groups, faculty meetings and the formation of a larger working group, faculty and staff articulated and pursued the following goal:
The College of Engineering will provide a contemporary engineering education that is strong in the fundamentals of the discipline and also fosters an understanding of the societal context of engineering and a passion for life-long learning. This will be achieved by guiding students through new educational opportunities to: • build disciplinary excellence with multidisciplinary perspective, • nurture critical thinking, • develop multicultural competence, • cultivate collaboration and leadership skills, and • promote an ethic of service to the profession and the community
To provide the necessary incentives and mechanisms for change, to-date the College has held three internal solicitations for proposals to transform undergraduate education providing faculty and staff with modest grants for release time and other resources. A total of 26 projects have been funded. The purpose of this paper is to describe our process, document accomplishments to date including successes, challenges, lessons learned, and to detail our next steps to continue this transformation.
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