June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Engineering Leadership Development Division
24.207.1 - 24.207.10
Assessing the Effectiveness of Leadership Education for Engineering StudentsRegardless of the approach taken to help engineering student develop their leadership potential,the engineering leadership development community faces challenges in assessing theeffectiveness of the educational approach. Soft skills, while assessable, are much morechallenging to quantify objectively and consistently. Simply put, one assessor’s understanding ofleadership is likely to be different from another’s. As a result, improvements of curricula,pedagogy, and development of rich “leadership experiences” that depend on assessment resultsmay be negatively affected by poor data. Further, allocation of scare instructional resources mayalso be adversely affected by incomplete assessment data.This paper presents descriptions of assessment efforts and results related to engineeringleadership educational efforts over a period of more than a decade. The original purpose of theeffort was to develop data to determine whether the current leadership development effort wasmeeting its stated goals and whether expansion of the effort to a certificate program was needed.The results to be discussed include formal assessment by students of experiential learning,compilation of data from six years of class exit interviews, ‘360 degree’ assessments if studentleadership efforts, and alumni surveys. In addition to the results and methodology, preliminaryconclusions will be discussed related to the curriculum and structure of the current leadershipdevelopment program.
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