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Implementing a CEAB Graduate Attributes Based Co-op Work Term Curriculum

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Post Graduate Experiential Programs and Insights

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.815.1 - 22.815.7



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Paper Authors


Anne Marie Coolen Dalhousie University

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Ms. Coolen has been the director of the Engineering and Computer Science Co-operative Education Program for 22 years. She is a former president of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) and secretary the CAFCE Accreditation Council. She has been spearheading a project in the Faculty of Engineering to enhance the educational value of co-operative education for three years in an effort to shift the program's focus from placement outcomes to learning outcomes.

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Implementing a CEAB Graduate Attributes Based Co-op Work Term CurriculumThis paper presents the learning outcomes based curriculum that has been developed forengineering students to use while on their co-op work terms.The goal of the new curriculum is to enable students to demonstrate their professional growthwith respect to four selected CEAB graduate engineer attributes through: 1. actively transferring classroom learning to the work place and vice versa 2. making connections between work terms and the Professional Engineering-in-Training Program 3. integrating the development of graduate engineer attributes with their career planning 4. assessing their work place readinessThe curriculum is based on the creation of a learning portfolio that demonstrates the studentslearning accomplishments through a combination of narrative and evidence. The evidence willbe provided through a series of assignments and the narrative will be based on a series ofreflective questions.The intention is for the curriculum to not only allow students to track and articulate thedevelopment of the selected attributes but to also enable them to acquire a deeper understandingof how their work place experiences contributed to their professional growth with respect to theattributes.The paper includes a summary of the design and pilot test done to date, a detailed description ofthe current iteration of the curriculum and an outline of the implementation strategy.The paper also discusses several operational challenges that arise from implementing thecurriculum across 600 work terms per year, including creating an optimal assessment process,generating employer buy-in and finding the resources necessary to maintain the delivery of thecurriculum.

Coolen, A. M. (2011, June), Implementing a CEAB Graduate Attributes Based Co-op Work Term Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18096

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