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Developing Leaders by Putting Students in the Curriculum Development Driver's Seat

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Student and Other Views on Engineering Leadership

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.502.1 - 26.502.16



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Paper Authors

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Yazmin Montoya LEAD

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Aaron Eduardo Pacheco Rimada University of Texas, El Paso

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Erwin Ignacio Delgado Univerity of Texas, El Paso

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Isaiah Nathaniel Webb


Meagan R. Kendall University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Meagan R. Vaughan received her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin where her research focused on the design of a low-cost, volume adjustable prosthetic socket. Now an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, she is helping develop a new Engineering Leadership Program to help students to bridge the gap between traditional engineering education and what they will really experience in industry. Her research interests span the areas of engineering education, biomechanics, and product design methodology.

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Developing Leaders by Putting Students in the Curriculum Development Driver SeatUpon graduation, engineers entering the work force are not always trained to work ina collaborative environment and do not possess a detailed understanding of commonbusiness, project management, or most importantly, leadership skills. In order tocreate a paradigm shift in engineering education, where students’ capacities arepushed beyond their limits in order to redefine what an engineer is and develop theseskill sets, Engineering Leadership students at the XXX University have takenownership of, not only their own education, but the education of future students.In order to develop students as leaders, the current Introduction to EngineeringLeadership course has been developed and taught by second year EngineeringLeadership students. Second year students were placed in educator/mentor positionsin order to develop their own leadership skills and expand their capacities because therole they were playing required both. The purpose of the class was not only to givesecond year students a leadership opportunity and an understanding of the importancein guiding people, but to also push forward a unique culture developed by EngineeringLeadership students, and provide leadership models for first year students learningfrom second year students.Second year students worked closely with Engineering Leadership faculty, as well asXXX University throughout the summer in order to develop curriculum for theincoming class. The goal of the course was to create an immersive learningenvironment that was also social, relatable, and inspiring to the instructors and thestudents. In order to achieve that goal, second year students were given theopportunity to teach the course. The curriculum developed by the students wasdivided into three major disciplines: leader identity development, innovative thinking,and hands on skills. These disciplines were taught in a studio environment throughgroup discussions and interactive individual and group projects.As a result of this experience, the second year student teachers were able to practicetheir leadership skills and directly impact the Engineering Leadership program bymentoring the incoming class through the teaching and curriculum developmentopportunity and improving student retention in the program. The experience studentshave gained has developed them into leaders in their learning community, andallowed them to perpetuate the leadership cycle for the incoming students throughtheir influence.    

Montoya, Y., & Pacheco Rimada, A. E., & Delgado, E. I., & Webb, I. N., & Kendall, M. R. (2015, June), Developing Leaders by Putting Students in the Curriculum Development Driver's Seat Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23841

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