June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.458.1 - 14.458.9
Developing Students’ Abilities in Technical Leadership: The Rose-Hulman Leadership Academy
The importance of leadership skills for engineers is reflected in the addition of “leadership” to the institutional student learning outcomes of our college. In recognition of that importance, the Rose-Hulman Leadership Academy was created to help develop leadership confidence in students with untapped leadership potential. This paper provides an overview of the objectives of the Leadership Academy, the curriculum used, and the impact on student confidence. Student self-assessment tools showed that students’ self-confidence grew over the course of the academy. Our conclusions indicate that the Leadership Academy provides skills development opportunities that are important for engineering students who will fill roles as technical leaders in the future.
In the summer of 2007, engineering programs at Rose-Hulman were re-accredited under ABET, Inc. and the Engineering Accreditation Council. The receipt of re-accreditation was the culmination of a six year process, and the core of our work to be re-accredited included assessment of student learning related to a set of institutional outcomes. Results of assessment— conducted through our digital portfolio system—were used by engineering programs to plan curricular changes and make improvements. The end of the cycle in 2007, however, only meant the beginning of a new cycle of accreditation, and for many of us at Rose-Hulman, we saw this as an opportunity to review the institute student learning outcomes and revise them to reflect new challenges our graduates must meet as they move into the engineering workforce and to graduate school. Some of the institute outcomes, like communication, teams, and ethics, remained important outcomes to continue to assess, both for the purpose of our institutional focus and for program accreditation requirements. In addition, we saw new challenges for our students, reflected in important publications like Rising Above the Gathering Storm (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, 2007) and Educating The Engineer of 2020 (National Academy of Engineering, 2005), publications that pointed us toward revising our institutional outcomes. In a project taken on by our institute-wide committee responsible for maintaining our student learning outcomes process—the Commission on the Assessment of Student Outcomes (CASO)—we determined that adding a leadership outcome to our set of institutional outcomes would be a significant revision.
The decision to add leadership to the list was reinforced by the development of Rose-Hulman president’s Strategic Plan. This plan, designed to chart a course for the institution into the future,
Hanson, J., & Williams, J. (2009, June), Developing Students' Abilities In Technical Leadership: The Rose Hulman Leadership Academy Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5476
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