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A Model Program For Promoting Effective Teaching In Colleges Of Engineering

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.21.1 - 4.21.12

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Paper Authors

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Debi Switzer

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Siegfried M. Holzer

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Richard M. Felder

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Douglas E. Hirt

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1313

A Model Program for Promoting Effective Teaching in Colleges of Engineering Rebecca Brent, Richard M. Felder Co-Directors, SUCCEED Faculty Development Program North Carolina State University Douglas Hirt, Debi Switzer Clemson University Siegfried Holzer Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

SUCCEED (Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education) is a National Science Foundation-sponsored coalition of engineering schools. The participating institutions are Clemson University, University of Florida, Florida A&M University–Florida State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The coalition began its second five-year funding period in 1997 with a mission of scaling up and institutionalizing the educational reforms developed and pilot- tested in the first five years.

A major component of the Year 6–10 effort is the design and implementation of a coalition-wide faculty development (FD) program. The program objectives are (1) to promote faculty adoption of instructional methods and materials that have been proven effective by classroom research; (2) to improve institutional support for teaching at each of the coalition campuses; and (3) to have a sustainable engineering FD program in place on each campus by the end of Year 10.

Many universities throughout the United States have faculty development programs, usually coordinated by a campus-wide teaching center. Some of these programs have played an important role in raising the quality of instruction in colleges of engineering, but most have had relatively little impact on the engineering faculty. For various reasons, many engineers lack respect for pedagogy as a discipline and consider programs sponsored by campus teaching centers as largely irrelevant to their courses, students, interests and problems. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that most faculty development personnel come from backgrounds in education or the social sciences, and so are not prepared to use the terminology and provide the concrete examples that would convey a sense of relevance to the engineers. Part of the task of the SUCCEED faculty development program is to overcome this disconnect—to help build effective faculty development programs in engineering that have strong and synergistic links to existing campus-wide FD programs.

The SUCCEED institutions are at widely varying points in their faculty development efforts. Some colleges have well-developed institutional support structures (campus-wide teaching centers, funds to support innovative teaching and curriculum changes, significant financial recognition of effective teaching), while others lack even the most basic support elements. Rather than trying to define a “one-size-fits-all” faculty development model, we have attempted to identify key FD program elements that should be in place at each institution and to offer

Switzer, D., & Holzer, S. M., & Felder, R. M., & Hirt, D. E. (1999, June), A Model Program For Promoting Effective Teaching In Colleges Of Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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