June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.80.1 - 24.80.8
A New Vision for Engineering Education Hamid R. Parsaei and Nimir Elbashir Texas A&M University at Qatar, Education City of Qatar Foundation, PO Box 23874, Doha, QatarTexas A&M University opened a branch campus in the Education City of Qatar Foundation in2003 by offering Bachelor of Science degrees in four engineering majors: chemical, electrical,mechanical and petroleum. The curricula offered at Texas A&M University at Qatar arematerially identical to the ones offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas and coursesare taught in English in a coeducational setting. The main objective of Qatar campus is tosupport Qatar’s development by educating engineers to contribute to the Qatar National Vision2030. As the nation strives to develop a knowledge-based society, the University recognizes theprofound need for highly skilled engineers to lead the next generation of discovery. Theuniversity developed a unique model for engineering education entitled “the Initiative inEngineering Leadership, Innovation and Teaching Excellence (ELITE)” to promote partnerships,collaboration and discourse that contribute to educating and preparing young people to addressQatar’s, the region and the world grand challenges of tomorrow. Considering the urgent needs inthese companies and global corporations for qualified engineers this model has generously beensupported by the Qatar Foundation and by the local and the global industry corporationsinvesting in Qatar and the region. This initiative is composed of several programs that includeadvanced engineering education models, recruitment efforts from high school students to scienceand engineering in addition to community service activities. The recruitment efforts to ouruniversity started with partnering with local and international schools to enhance science,technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to prepare the students to the universitystudies. This activity involved as well special programs to provide professional development forhigh school teachers of math, science and technology to enhance their teaching effectiveness. Onthe other hand, many of our engineering programs start refining the University’s engineeringcurricula to ensure they meet Qatar’s evolving needs and to advance students’ knowledge infields of common interest to industry in Qatar, the region and the world. The focus in this areaaccompanied by bolstering teaching, research and outreach in energy, the environment,sustainable technologies, ethics, project management and other related topics. Because of localindustry and government institutions support of this program significant number of ourundergraduate students are able to engage in well-funded research programs in energy,petroleum, communications and other fields relevant to the Qatar National Research Strategy.Furthermore, the University encourages our undergraduate students to undertake internships andcooperative learning experiences that increase their soft skills and hands-on experience thatwould guarantee their success in the workplace. This paper will highlight the success storiesfrom this program as per the experience of our students and our alumni who are working inseveral sectors in Qatar and the region and the world since 2008. On the other hand, this paperwill discuss the challenges and the potentials of this program to become a unique model for thefuture engineering education programs.
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