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Bringing The K 12 Stakeholders Onto The Engineering Education Team

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.247.1 - 6.247.7



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Paper Authors

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Karen Batty

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Joseph Clair Batty

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

Session 2530

Bringing the K-12 Stakeholders onto the Engineering Education Team J. Clair Batty, Karen O. Batty Utah State University


The enhanced global perspectives brought on by exploding information technologies have precipitated dramatic changes in industry. Recognizing that suppliers and customers are stakeholders in the product realization process and bringing them onto the production team has resulted in significant improvement in quality and efficiency.

Engineering education would do well to follow this model. Communication and cooperation between colleges of engineering and those who hire our graduates are expanding everywhere. Now we must give greater attention to our suppliers. We can no longer afford to allow our K-12 suppliers to "throw high school graduates over-the-wall" to colleges of engineering resulting in high rejection and dropout rates.

Utah’s Governor has recently called for a doubling of graduates from Utah’s colleges of engineering within five years and tripling in eight. This paper describes some of the initiatives underway at Utah State University to motivate, guide, and help create a more seamless experience for students who could potentially do well in engineering.


Horror stories from the over-the-wall era of American industry are legion. These stories describe engineering designs being thrown over-the-wall to those in manufacturing, who struggled and modified the designs. The product was then thrown over-the-wall to marketing. Marketing in turn threw the product over-the-wall to the customer. Results often included an inferior quality product, high rejection rates, low profits, and unhappy customers.1

Global competition and information technologies have brought a transition from the over-the- wall approach to a near universal embracing of total constituency teaming. In the successful teaming model, the team is diverse and multidisciplinary. All team members are talking to each other. Engineering, marketing, manufacturing, suppliers, and customers are all talking with each other, resulting in continuous quality improvement and happier stakeholders.2

Education has much to learn from this new industrial model of total constituency teaming. Long after successful businesses have abandoned over-the-wall practices, we still see examples of education following this model. In this scenario students are thrown over-the-wall from grade to grade in the K-12 system and then catapulted over-the-wall into engineering colleges.3 Engineering school survivors are then launched over-the-wall into industry. We are not claiming this practice is universal. Certainly there are many fine examples of articulation and communication; however, evidences that over-the-walling still permeates the system may be found in declining enrollments, unprepared disenchanted students, and unacceptable engineering

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Batty, K., & Batty, J. C. (2001, June), Bringing The K 12 Stakeholders Onto The Engineering Education Team Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8967

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