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An Update On The Implementation Of A New Multidisciplinary Engineering Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.236.1 - 12.236.10



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Paper Authors

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Chell Roberts Arizona State University

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Darryl Morrell Arizona State University

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Mark Henderson Arizona State University

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Scott Danielson Arizona State University

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Robert Hinks Arizona State University

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Robert Grondin Arizona State University

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Thomas Sugar Arizona State University

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Chen-Yuan Kuo Arizona State University

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

An Update on the Implementation of a New Multidisciplinary Engineering Program


In 2003, a founding team of seven faculty members was given the unprecedented freedom and flexibility of designing an engineering program from a blank slate. After a two-year planning process including a review of the current literature and site visits to many engineering programs, the new multidisciplinary engineering program was implemented. Currently, the new engineering program is in its second year of implementation offering freshman and sophomore level courses. The program design is grounded in pedagogies of engagement, curricular flexibility, and a focus on the individual. Student outcomes are based on a developmental model patterned somewhat after Alverno College. Outcomes assessment includes oral examinations and the use of ePortfolios. This paper presents an update on the evolving program design and implementation, its challenges and our solutions to those challenges..

Identity – Mission and Vision

An important step in the program design process was the development of brand identity. Brand identity is a reflection of a program's mission, vision, values and competitive position. It is a mixture of attributes, tangible and intangible, which, if executed properly creates value and influence. It also can align internal decision-making and behavior in ways that are consistent with the brand and, therefore, with the department's mission, vision, values and competitive position. The development of brand identity was a valuable mechanism for refining and clarifying the engineering team's collective vision for the program. A structured process1 resulted in the following values: Engaged Learning, Agility, and a Focus on the individual.

These values are related to the program mission as the program is built around the concept of engaged learning: discovery-based education and learning by doing. Classrooms are defined not as lecture halls but as engineering studios. Courses are delivered not as lengthy exercises in theory but as integrated opportunities to apply knowledge in real-world projects. The expected outcome of the program is an agile engineer, a lifelong learner with a comprehensive set of skills appropriate to the needs of today and tomorrow. Agility also characterizes the program itself: streamlined, purposeful and flexible in adapting to changes in pedagogy, knowledge or the needs of its stakeholders. We also express the brand value of agility through its unique ability to cross or eradicate traditional boundaries between engineering disciplines, enhancing innovation through the synergistic combination of previously bounded boxes of knowledge. Lastly, the engineering program is focused on the individual student. Each person is valued for his or her unique skills. We measure our success by the quality of each individual's education and our effectiveness and responsiveness in meeting their individual learning needs.

Roberts, C., & Morrell, D., & Henderson, M., & Danielson, S., & Hinks, R., & Grondin, R., & Sugar, T., & Kuo, C. (2007, June), An Update On The Implementation Of A New Multidisciplinary Engineering Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2964

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015