June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Engineering Leadership Development
Abstract Engineering colleges and departments have built partnerships with industry and corporate partners to help shape the engineering curriculum. In these partnerships, it has become apparent that industry is looking for academic programs to extend their focus beyond technical curricula and delve into professional development programs, leading to the emergence of engineering leadership development programs . In this work-in-progress, we discuss the evolution of a leadership development program that involves a direct relationship with a corporate sponsor and a scholarship program. The XXX Leadership Academy has been a part of the XXX College of Engineering scholarship program since 2013 and is wholly funded by XXX. The program began as a one-semester leadership training program typically comprised of 13-17 students from various engineering majors. The program’s seminar-based workshop curriculum mainly enlisted the help of faculty from the College of Business, and students received a $1,000 stipend upon completion of the semester. Using voice-of-the-customer techniques, it was determined in fall of 2017, the program was not meeting the needs of the corporate sponsor, nor was it effective in assessing the professional development of participants. Specifically, the corporate sponsor wished to increase the scholarship amount (from $1,000 for one semester to $5,000 for one year), to gain more access to students, to develop a lasting relationship with the students by retaining students in the program beyond one semester, and to incorporate active learning workshops rather than mere lectures. The revamped program and workshop curriculum was designed to carefully incorporate established engineering leadership core competencies: communication, innovation / creativity, execution, teamwork, leadership toolbox and personal drive [2-7]. The 2017-2018 XXX Leadership Academy consisted of 30 students from freshmen to juniors from all engineering disciplines (except biological engineering and construction management) and ISDS. The curriculum was comprised of several elements: required reading and reflection assignments associated with a text (Student Leadership Challenge by Kouzas and Posner), professional development workshops [6-7], teambuilding and networking activities, a corporate mentor from XXX, opportunities to practice leadership, outreach , and an end-of-year banquet. Workshop topics included: Emergenetics, resume / interview skills, speaking to upper management, negotiation, elevator speeches, diversity, project management, delivering presentations, networking, and creating a personal brand. The participants were surveyed before and after the program about their perceptions of leadership, their own leadership abilities, their knowledge base of leadership topics, and their feedback on the workshops. Preliminary evaluation of the data shows a distinct increase in student confidence in leadership roles. Many students were inspired to pursue leadership roles within the College of Engineering and university. As a work-in-progress, the program continues to evolve in the 2018-2019 academic year. Now that the program is in its second year, the workshops have been designed to incorporate a tiered system such that participants can attend workshops that match their level of understanding of a topic. Upon building confidence of the leadership program with the corporate sponsor, it is the intent to grow the program to a college-wide leadership program.
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Melvin, E. M., & Bowles, B., & Steele, A. (2019, June), Fostering a Relationship with a Corporate Sponsor to Grow an Engineering Leadership Development Program Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/31909
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