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Curriculum Design For The Engineer Of 2020: A University Community Creates A Public Affairs Curriculum For Engineering Undergraduates

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Curricula of the Past, Present, and Future

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.381.1 - 11.381.12



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Paper Authors


Wendy Harrison Colorado School of Mines

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WENDY J. HARRISON is Professor of Geology and Geochemistry at the Colorado School of Mines, and is the Principal Tutor and Interim Director of the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs for Engineers. She teaches in the geological sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels as well as interdisciplinary courses at CSM. She has been awarded federal grants for innovative approaches to teaching undergraduate analytical methods in mineral and rock characterization, and has been a workshop leader in NSF’s funded “On the Cutting Edge” series of faculty teaching enhancement programs.

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Ruth Streveler Colorado School of Mines

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RUTH A. STREVELER is the Director of the Center for Engineering Education at the Colorado School of Mines and Research Associate Professor in Academic Affairs. Dr. Streveler holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Master of Science in Zoology from the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Indiana University at Bloomington. She is co-principle investigator of three NSF-sponsored projects: Developing an Outcomes Assessment Instrument for Identifying Engineering Student Misconceptions in Thermal and Transport Sciences (DUE - 0127806), Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (ESI-0227558), and Rigorous Research in Engineering Education: Creating a Community of Practice (DUE-0341127).

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Ronald Miller Colorado School of Mines

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RONALD L. MILLER is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines where he has taught chemical engineering and interdisciplinary courses and conducted research in educational methods for the past twenty years. He has received three university-wide teaching awards and has held a Jenni teaching fellowship at CSM. He has received grant awards for educational research from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education (FIPSE), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

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Arthur Sacks Colorado School of Mines

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

Curriculum Design for the Engineer of 2020: A University Community Creates a Public Affairs Curriculum for Engineering Undergraduates

Wendy J. Harrison, Ruth A. Streveler, Ronald L. Miller, and Arthur B. Sacks Colorado School of Mines Abstract

This paper describes the process by which the curriculum of the award-winning Guy T. McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is being redesigned. Best practices in curriculum development have been followed (e.g., developing a clear mission statement with measurable outcomes; aligning course-level learning objectives with Program outcomes and expected attributes of CSM graduates; establishing an implementation matrix to organize topics and content into a logical course sequence; embedding assessment processes throughout; and engaging the broad participation of Program faculty) to design a new Program for review by its faculty governance committee and by the institution. The paper incorporates the results of assessing the curriculum process via interviews with faculty who have been engaged in the redesign effort.

Introduction and Background

The McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs at The Colorado School of Mines (CSM)1, instituted in 1978, is an award-winning exemplar in the liberal arts which “….provides a select number of CSM engineering students an opportunity to cross the boundaries of their technical expertise in engineering and applied science, and to gain the understanding and appreciation of the contexts in which engineering and applied science and all human systems reside, and specifically to explore and integrate the social, cultural, ethical and environmental implications of their future professional judgments and their roles as citizens in varied and complex settings.” [1]. The 27 semester-hour program of seminars, courses, and off-campus activities features small seminars; a cross-disciplinary approach (faculty from engineering and science disciplines and faculty from the humanities and social sciences are regularly co-moderators of the seminars); and, opportunities for one-on-one faculty tutorials, instruction and practice in oral and written communication, a Washington, D.C. public policy seminar, a practicum experience (internship or foreign study), as well as participation in the McBride “community within a community” approach [2-5].

Circumstances external to the McBride Program itself, which include the on-campus enhancements of the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies and the Division of ****************************************************************************** 1 The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has successfully evolved from its mining history roots to a modern public technological institution which offers eight undergraduate ABET accredited engineering degrees, four science degrees, as well as a degree in economics and business, 27 graduate degrees at the masters and doctoral levels several of which are inherently cross- departmental and interdisciplinary in nature, and a highly active and growing research and sponsored programs portfolio in all areas of the institution’s expertise. The undergraduate body of approximately 4000 students ranks in the 90th percentile in quantitative skills and 80th percentile in verbal skills on SAT and ACT examinations. Entrance requirements are the highest among all Colorado institutions of higher education and among the highest for public institutions nationally.

Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2006, American Society for Engineering Education

Harrison, W., & Streveler, R., & Miller, R., & Sacks, A. (2006, June), Curriculum Design For The Engineer Of 2020: A University Community Creates A Public Affairs Curriculum For Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--552

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015