New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
College Industry Partnerships
Creating An Inclusive Ecosystem Through Professional Development
An inclusive ecosystem within engineering education has been developed, having evolved around a series of stratified professional development courses spanning working professionals, university faculty, and university students. This ecosystem has allowed us to engage industry partners in the academic enterprise, fostered an environment for faculty renewal, and consequently created a venue for engagement of an ethnically diverse student populace from disparate economic backgrounds.
It is widely accepted that professional development education conforms to a different teaching model then that of traditional higher education. Engineering faculty, used to traditional norms of “publish or perish,” often view the value proposition of teaching professional development-type courses to industry professionals as being in conflict with promotion and tenure. Yet, the connections to industry provided through professional development education cannot be easily put aside. Specifically, the applied focus of professional development education affords engineering faculty a unique opportunity to transcend traditional theory-based teaching, bringing relevancy and application directly into the classroom.
Professional development courses for undergraduates, taught by both engineering faculty and industry professionals are also emerging. Offered as non-credit pop-up sessions, these workshops are providing undergraduate students with skills to readily traverse multi-disciplinary projects through venues that bridge engineering concepts and theory with application. Three years into development of our ecosystem, we continue to engage stakeholders at the campus level and across the broader industry-based community to expand our professional development offerings at various levels. Industry partners have proven to be key contributors in growing the ecosystem, bringing financial support, project expertise, and, coupled with faculty buy-in, legitimacy to our efforts. In this paper, we offer lessons learned, accomplishments, and some insight into our assessments of outcomes.
Pines, E., & Sullivan, P. A. (2016, June), Creating an Inclusive Ecosystem through Professional Development Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26599
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