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Creating Effective Future Faculty In Engineering

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.331.1 - 15.331.8



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Paper Authors

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Mani Mina Iowa State University

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Diane Rover Iowa State University

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Mack Shelley Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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


This paper introduces the framework and early implementation of a new program designed to develop more effective future faculty in engineering. The core of the program is based on our efforts regarding the recently developed Minor in Engineering Studies (MES). This program teams up effective engineering faculty to train, mentor, and evaluate a select group of graduate students to teach classes in our MES program. The goal is to help the engineering graduate students (the graduate educators) become better communicator and better educators by training non-engineering students in technological literacy classes. We believe that this practice will develop and enhance the effectiveness of the graduate educators as classroom instructors and that therefore this is the way to train effective future faculty in engineering. In this paper we introduce the conceptual framework of the MES and the results of the early implementation of this study.


The quality of life and economic prosperity of the over 300 million residents of the United States are critically dependent on making wise choices on the use and further development of technology, addressing issues ranging from the formulation and implementation of energy policies to telecommunications. Addressing these issues is the mission of our 1.5 million engineers. To enable the future engineering workforce, as well as to educate the public with essential information about technology and technological literacy, requires enhanced efforts to train more effective engineering educators. The future engineering faculty at all levels will be responsible for educating their students as well as helping to educate non-engineers about technology1-10. We need to achieve effective technological literacy for the non-engineer 99.5% of U.S. citizens. Most of the country’s leadership comes from this vast group of citizens who generally have only a vague understanding of the use of engineering and technology in the national interest. Engineering concepts are pervasive in decision making within industry, government, education, and health care, yet most decisions in these sectors are made by persons with little or no formal engineering education. It is apparent that we need to develop new engineers, with a new roadmap to the future of engineering practice, engineering research, and engineering education11-24.


The MES program is designed and implemented by the College of Engineering at Iowa State University to provide technological literacy to non-engineering students. The program started in 2006, and the first set of students participating in the program graduated in spring 2008. The main objective of the MES program is to provide the concepts and ideas of engineering and technology to students with non-technical backgrounds. The MES uses a contextual approach (e.g., learning electrical engineering by investigating how a cell phone works) that will make engineering relevant to the daily lives of non-engineering students. The classes are non-mathematical and are focused on applications, conceptual understanding, and big-picture items. The classes have no prerequisite and build on high school algebra.

Mina, M., & Rover, D., & Shelley, M. (2010, June), Creating Effective Future Faculty In Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16344

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