June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.455.1 - 23.455.9
Educational Innovation in a new Online Sustainable Systems Engineering Masters Degree Program through Cross-Campus CollaborationIntegration of sustainable tools and practices in environmental engineering curricula ischallenged by the multitude of perspectives on sustainable issues. As sustainability rapidlybecomes a much-needed capability in public and private sector organizations however, taking abroader systems-level approach to sustainability by defining necessary competencies for studentsbetter supports development of an engineering community of practice.Based on a structured approach to defining competent performance, a sustainable competencymodel (SCM) was developed through interviews with faculty and industrial stakeholders. Itsmajor dimensions included: science and technology, business and economics, systems analysis,personal effectiveness, working across boundaries, management and planning, environmentaljustice and equity, and ideas and innovation. Within each dimension, the knowledge, skills,mindsets and behavioral attributes desired for engineers were further defined.Because competency models define exemplary practice, they are a reliable foundation forcurriculum development and learning needs assessment. The SCM therefore served as basis forcurriculum requirements in a new online Masters level Sustainable Systems Engineering degree(SSE).The SCM mandated that a systems approach be designed to ensure students would develop thecompetencies desired in an area of specialization (facilities, infrastructure or energy). However,since traditional engineering programs are relatively narrowly focused, SSE developed aninnovative new model for teaching, learning, and revenue sharing that facilitated multiplepartnerships with cross-campus departments, institutes and offices that support research andeducation within an individual competency dimension.Through better collaboration with emerging campus centers of excellence in a particularsustainable focus area, the SSE program offers broader systems-based instruction on sustainabletools and practices, while still integrating traditional engineering courses for technical depth.The collaborative online SCM-based approach also ensures graduates have the necessarycompetencies to lead sustainable projects by fully measuring the impact of sustainable initiativesand adding value for stakeholders.
Gustafson, M. A., & Vieth, C., & Eagan, P. (2013, June), Educational Innovation in a new Online Sustainable Systems Engineering Masters Degree Program through Cross-Campus Collaboration Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19469
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