June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Leadership Development Division
26.635.1 - 26.635.13
Engineering Leadership: A New Engineering DisciplineThe XXX University, recognizing the growing emphasis on leadership development inengineering, has established a new engineering discipline called Engineering Leadership. XXXis leading the charge by offering the first Bachelor of Science in Engineering Leadership (E-Lead) degree in the country. The primary educational objective of the E-Lead degree is todevelop engineers into leaders with engineering domain knowledge, broad leadershipknowledge, and the ability to inspire and lead others. Graduates of the E-Lead program will notonly be leaders, but will perpetuate leadership traits in those they serve.But E-Lead goes well beyond being a program, an initiative, or a cluster of classes added to adegree plan. Through a collaboration with the YYY College of Engineering, the curriculumdesigned for E-Lead transforms the classroom experience by moving beyond content andfocusing on project application and the integration of the students’ skills and knowledge in real-world scenarios. Mentoring character and personal growth helps students reach a level ofpersonal and professional achievement. Emphasis is placed on leadership, innovation, business,with a required sub-disciplinary specialty; all encased in a pedagogical studio format, requiringstudents to work in highly collaborative groups and thus develop a vital sense of communityamong themselves and their professors. Since tomorrow’s leaders must also be highly groundedin knowledge and use of technology, the program is designed to fulfill ABET EAC’s generalcriteria for a B.S in Engineering.The E-Lead program also develops a culture where students actively contribute to their owneducation and where individual contributions are valued and important. E-Lead students strivefor excellence because they have a sense of ownership and power over their own education.Three main ideas have governed the development of the E-Lead Program. First, learning aboutand practicing leadership skills must be integrated into the engineering education studentsreceive. The first two years of the academic curriculum (E-Lead is currently in its second year)are designed to motivate the need for teaming and leadership skills within an engineeringcontext. We distinguish leadership as a cycle in which leaders develop leadership traits inthemselves as a result of character development and then go on to perpetuate leadership traits inthose they serve. At the core of E-Lead is the leadership development founded on thedevelopment of students’ character, competence and capacity.Second, the program must be designed with an eye towards the strengths and values that theXXX University student population brings to the table. There is no typical XXX Universityengineering student; the range of backgrounds is diverse which is a boon to the E-Lead program.Third, the program must include a substantial eco-system outside of the traditional academicconstraints to build relationships, develop teaming and leadership skills, and build a communityof scholars and student leaders.We will tell the story of the creation and development of the Engineering Leadership Programand will describe how the three main ideas above have impacted the curriculum and communitywithin E-Lead.
Gonzalez, R. V., & Schoephoerster, R. T., & Townsend, J. (2015, June), Engineering Leadership: A New Engineering Discipline Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23973
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