June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.172.1 - 10.172.8
An Experimental Course for First-Year Students: Leadership in Engineering
Mary E. Goodwin Iowa State University
A first-year leadership course was created for engineering students. The purpose of the class was to develop stronger leadership skills in undergraduate engineering students early on in their college career. This was done by actively engaging students in leadership activities that gave opportunities for practicing skills while also providing classroom instruction on leadership theories, issues, and concepts. Industry has expressed a need for graduating engineering students to have stronger leadership skills and since it is believed that these skills can be learned and developed through active involvement in student organizations, this was incorporated into the overall construction of the course. Results from analyzing the journal writings of students in the class show that this course had a substantial impact on them, not only on how they viewed leadership, but also in their reported gain in self-awareness and knowledge about others in terms of personality and gender differences, communication styles, teamwork, and conflict management. While the students will be followed for the next four years to look at longitudinal data, the initial findings indicate that this can be a valuable course for first-year students.
At Iowa State University, the Engineering Industrial Advisory committee asked the college to strengthen the leadership skills of their engineering students. While the college had several leadership programs, they did not have a specific leadership development class for students. As a result, an experimental first-year leadership course was created for engineering students. The purpose of the class was to help develop leadership skills in undergraduate engineering students early on in their college career. Students were required to be actively involved in a student organization to be in the class.
Several leadership courses at different universities, including Maryland, Minnesota and Penn State, were reviewed. The University of Maryland had a couple of courses of interest: Advanced Leadership Seminar, EDCP 417, and from The James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership; Action, Change and Leadership in Groups, BSOS 359M. The University of Minnesota had a Leadership Minor program which included Personal Leadership in the University, EdPA 1301W/ PA, Leadership, You and Your Community, EdPA 3302W/PA 3961W, and Leadership in the World, EdPA 4303W/PA 4961W. Penn State had an Engineering Leadership Development Minor. This minor had a few courses of interest such as Leadership Principles, Engr 408, Leadership in Organizations, Engr 409 and Creativity, Innovation and
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Goodwin, M. (2005, June), An Experimental Course For First Year Students: Leadership In Engineering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14657
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