July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
In 2010, one of the authors of this abstract, while a faculty member as wrote the following lead paragraph in an ASEE abstract submission.
“The Journal of Engineering Education, in a special 2005 issue subtitled The art and science of engineering education research, emphasized a recommendation drawn from the National Academy of Engineering report The Engineer of 2020: ‘engineering education should be revitalized to anticipate changes in technology and society, rather than lagging behind them.’ Structural change does not come easily even to a profession that sees new technologies displace old ones on an ongoing basis. To maintain the historically competitive advantage of the engineering workforce in the United States, our undergraduate engineering programs must have the ability to change to meet societal needs.”
In 2018, the above paragraph still rings true, but with more urgency than eight years earlier.
In the XXX Technological University College of Engineering, we have an opportunity to bring to maturity an agile engineering education program that builds an integrated engineering experience on the foundations of engineering, physical and social sciences, business and the humanities, and a core program of systems dynamics-based, low fidelity modeling that is focused on developing deep and applicable systems thinking across a broad range of possibilities. Our Systems Engineering program is embedded in a generalist engineering degree program that allows for other defined pathways to degree. This generalist program is an ABET accredited degree program, under the ABET general criteria. One role the generalist degree program fills in our is to act as an incubator for other engineering degree programs. It is the incubator for what we believe will “hatch” as a Systems Engineering major within 5 years as enrollment grows.
In many ways our Systems Engineering curriculum is distant from the norm of other Systems Engineering programs. The unique character of the curriculum arises because of a planned outsourcing of most courses of the degree program. In segments of the curriculum focusing on engineering, natural science, and business, care was taken at each step to select coursework that involved systems. The span of these systems ranges for forest ecology, to cellular biology, to electrical engineering circuits, to biological signal transportation in a BioMed course, to ... These courses are scattered across the university but when coupled with the systems modeling kernel taught in , the students see an emerging picture that underlies the importance and utility of systems thinking and dynamic systems modeling.
Our curriculum model enables envisioning our Systems Engineering program as a core set of competencies followed by student-selectable cognates. This model of a “commons” followed by specialization to prepare directly for the workplace is one that may be relevant for other programs given the current pressing need for engineers who can bridge the specific disciplines of engineering while also being able to apply sound business principles.
A key part of our paper will survey undergraduate systems engineering programs to test the wide spread view that there are two dominant version of systems engineering programs: one that emphasizes “systems thinking and low fidelity modeling” and a second that emphasizes the most established sub-disciplines of systems engineering, e.g., requirements engineering, quality engineering, and ... We conjecture (at this point) that the variation of systems engineering program is not one or the other polar opposite but rather that systems engineering program will fall on a continuum between those two poles. On that continuum, our program is nearer to the “systems thinking and low fidelity modeling” pole.
Sticklen, J., & Green, N. (2021, July), Establishing a Non-traditional Systems Engineering Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37096
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