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Course And Syllabus Change To Incorporate Aspects Of Diversity In Engineering And Engineering Technology Courses

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Topics in Civil ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.346.1 - 9.346.10



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Paper Authors

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Maher Murad

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

Session 2549

Course and Syllabus Change to Incorporate Aspects of Diversity in Engineering and Engineering Technology Courses

Maher Murad

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


An initiative in the Civil Engineering Technology (CET) department involving the re-design of the transportation course, to be more inclusive in terms of diversity, has been undertaken at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). The initiative was in response to the recently developed UPJ diversity statement urging faculty to find opportunities within the curriculum to address diversity. The idea of course transformation was initiated in a two-week faculty diversity seminar sponsored by the office of the Provost at the University of Pittsburgh. The mission of the seminar was to provide an experience that will assist faculty in making their courses more inclusive in terms of diversity both in content and pedagogy.

This paper describes the pedagogical aspects of developing and teaching a course in transportation to reflect aspects of diversity and diverse perspectives. The paper discusses efforts by UPJ to address diversity issues and the mission of the recently organized faculty diversity seminar. The focus of the paper is on course transformation and implementation. Course outcomes, syllabus and sample assignments are also discussed. Finally, feedback from students is presented and discussed. The experience gained from the course re-design process may provide useful guidance to those considering ways to update existing courses in engineering or engineering technology to address diversity issues.


Multicultural course change is aimed primarily at preparing students to function in a multicultural society and in a globally connected world. The change will also allow courses to better meet the educational needs of all students by providing an honest view of reality with respect to diversity issues including diversity in the work place. The reasons for such course change include but are not limited to providing more comprehensive, accurate, intellectually honest views of reality; prepare all students to function in a multicultural society; and better meet the learning needs of all students, including those who are diverse. (1)

Course and pedagogy development as part of institutional change for responding to cultural diversity and combating racism is an ethical imperative for campuses with diverse student bodies but it has equal relevance for more homogeneous campuses. (2) For this institutional change to succeed, it must be part of its culture. An organization’s culture is reflected in what is done, how it is done, and who is involved in doing it. It concerns decisions, actions on an instrumental and a symbolic level. (3)

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Murad, M. (2004, June), Course And Syllabus Change To Incorporate Aspects Of Diversity In Engineering And Engineering Technology Courses Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14013

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