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A Doctoral Teaching Program in Engineering

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Developing Teaching and Mentoring Skills

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors


Donald P. Visco Jr. University of Akron

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Donald P. Visco, Jr. is the Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Akron and Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

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Nidaa Makki

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Dr. Nidaa Makki is an Associate Professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at The University of Akron, in the department in Curricular and Instructional Studies. Her work focuses on STEM curriculum integration and science inquiry practices in middle and high school. She is a co-PI on an NSF funded project to investigate the impact of integrating engineering on middle school students’ interest and engagement in STEM. She has also received funding to conduct teacher professional development in the areas of engineering education, problem based learning and inquiry instruction.

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Esther R. Wain-Weiss Universtiy of Akron

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A few years ago, the College of Engineering at our university developed a two-year doctoral training and teaching program for Ph. D. candidates who had an interest in considering a faculty position upon graduation. The program is designed for students in any engineering major who have passed their Ph. D. qualifier and have at least two years left of their Ph. D. studies. Students apply, with approval from their Ph. D. advisor, and are interviewed by a small committee. The cohort that is selected receives bi-weekly, one-hour training sessions on engineering pedagogy and classroom management strategies during the first year, as developed by a program associate. Additionally, they are individually assigned to a relevant course with a selected teaching mentor and are required to give up to five “lectures” each semester.

At the end of the first year, the cohort students are then given one class to teach in the fall and spring of the following year. During the summer between the first-year and the second-year they meet with a program associate to discuss additional course planning. Finally, during the second-year they meet monthly with a program associate to discuss course implementation and relevant strategies based on what they have previously learned to address issues in their class. It is noted that all cohort students are paid for their activities in both years as a supplement to either their research assistantship or teaching assistantship position.

The program is starting its third year of cohort students. In this work, we will share details of the program, as well as lessons learned based on surveys and focus group interviews. Cohort students reported that this program prepared them well to be successful in the teaching aspect of an academic career, by learning about best practices for teaching engineering, and practicing those skills during year two of the program. After completing the program, cohort students felt well prepared to engage their students in active learning methods, focusing on students learning outcomes in preparing syllabi and lectures, and using assessment to support student learning. They also felt more confident in their ability to be successful teachers in future academic careers.

Visco, D. P., & Makki, N., & Wain-Weiss, E. R. (2018, June), A Doctoral Teaching Program in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29675

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