June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Leadership Development Division
26.534.1 - 26.534.7
Development of Assessable Leadership Experiences Outside of the Engineering ClassroomThe challenge of providing leadership learning experiences is particularly challenging in anacademic environment. The structure of a traditional classroom environment (built in rewardsystem [grades], presence of an authority figure [professor] and very limited time frame) restrictthe range of experiences that a developing leader may face. On the other hand, it is difficult toassess outcomes if external leadership opportunities are used for developing students because theopportunities (leading student clubs, honor societies, ROTC, etc.) have significant structuraldifferences. However, the challenges presented, especially for leading a “non-classroom”organization/effort of volunteers, can provide significant learning opportunities that cannot beeasily matched in a classroom environment.This paper discusses the first year of developing a “laboratory” for providing and assessingleadership experiences for students in a focused engineering leadership class. While none of theleadership experiences are the same, there are common elements of each experience.Specifically, the students must self-identify a volunteer (non-paying) organization and canclearly articulate the value of that organization in their lives. Further, the students must be able toidentify at least one significant problem within the organization that they can address, plusarticulate a vision for the organization after solving the problem. Finally, the students mustdevelop an action plan for leading the change to solve the problem, including a definedcommunication strategy and what leadership styles and tools will be used (and how they will beused) to motivate the volunteers. To provide further experience and help provide value to theorganizations, the students were organized into groups of four to act as advisors and assessors ofprogress for each team member, reporting specific metrics and general progress to the classprofessor on a weekly basis. This paper will present an overview of the program, a description ofthe roles and results, as well as lessons learned in helping provide tangible leadershipexperiences to developing engineering leaders.
Bayless, D. (2015, June), Development of Assessable Leadership Experiences Outside of the Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23873
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