June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Leadership Development Division
26.633.1 - 26.633.20
“Engineering Leadership Education – The Path Forward” A.M. Erdman, D. H. Horner, J.V. Matson, R.J. Schuhmann Abstract for the 2015 ASEE Annual Meeting Leadership Division 10/8/14The Engineering Leadership Development Program at The Pennsylvania State University was one of thepioneering university-level leadership development programs in the world. Founded in 1995 as aninitiative of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, the program hasgraduated over 800 students with an 18 credit-hour minor in Engineering Leadership Development.A study done by Purdue University (Allert, et.al. ,2007) suggested that today’s engineering leader mustbe well-versed in three dimensions, namely technical, professional, and global skills. While the initialfocus of the Penn State program was to address professional skill development, over the past 10 years,global competency skill development has been incorporated as well (Schuhmann, 2010; Gordon, et.al.2014). An international study performed by MIT (Ruth, 2009) noted that the program was one of fourcase studies of good practice to teach Engineering Leadership, particularly with a focus on creating thebroad, global engineering skill base needed in today’s engineering leaders. Further studies found thatincorporation of professional skill training actually enhanced technical performance in students.Anecdotally, we have found that the incorporation of global competency skills further energizesstudents, resulting in increased performance in both the technical and professional dimensions ofleadership.As the program approaches its 20th anniversary, retrospection, insight, and application of lessonslearned to formulating the future are appropriate. The past and current directors of the program havegathered together to create a joint perspective. This perspective is strongly influenced by extensivereviews of current student learning through pre/post course surveys (Hochstedt, et.al. 2013) and asurvey of graduates that assessed both the career impact of the program as well as views of thestrengths and areas where the program could be improved. Further, an Advisory Board, representingkey industrial partners, was tasked with reviewing new initiatives to assure that these were consistentwith the current needs of those who hire our graduates.This paper provides both a qualitative and quantitative review of the past performance and impact ofthis program on current students, graduates, and the companies who hire our graduates. The lessonslearned are used to both suggest future enhancements of this program, as well as to help guide thedevelopment of nascent or enhancement of existing programs at other universities.
Schuhmann, R. J., & Erdman, A. M., & Matson, J. V., & Lang, D. H., & Soper, J. G., & Horner, D. H. (2015, June), Engineering Leadership Education - The Path Forward Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23971
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