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Integrating Cultural Development Into A Multi Disciplinary Seminar Course: Broadening The Student Horizon To Better Function And Appreciate Global, Contemporary Issues

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Technology Courses

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.761.1 - 15.761.20



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Paper Authors


David Cottrell University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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DR. DAVID S. COTTRELL is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 and retired in 2000 after more than 22 years of service with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Studies at Texas A&M University resulted in an MS Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 and a PhD in 1995. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the Commonwealth of Virginia. With more than 13 years professorial experience, he has taught a large variety of courses including statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, graphic communications, engineering economy, and construction planning, scheduling, estimating, and management.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating Cultural Development into a Multi-Disciplinary Seminar Course: Broadening the Student Horizon to Better Function and Appreciate Global, Contemporary Issues


This paper describes practical techniques currently employed to effectively integrate ABET accreditation criteria for engineering technology1 into a junior-level seminar course. With enrollment open to electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering technology as well as construction management students, this course provides a unique, multi-disciplined atmosphere to address the many aspects of engineering both as a student and as a future practicing engineer. In particular, this paper will discuss innovative, strategic teaching initiatives for assessment and evaluation of specific Program Outcomes noted under TC2K Criterion 3 and recognized throughout the engineering community as essential skills that allow engineers to effectively function and grow as members of the society that they serve. These outcomes are noted below lettered appropriately as they appear in the ABET criterion:

e. An ability to function effectively on teams.

g. An ability to communicate effectively.

h. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning

i. An ability to understand professional, ethical and social responsibilities.

j. A respect for diversity and knowledge of contemporary professional, societal and global issues.

k. A commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement.

Although generally considered a n- describes the use of a junior professional seminar to provide a unique perspective on integrating engineering disciplines in the classroom as a model of their future - relationships in the real world. This course is structured to be a multi-disciplined environment where third-year engineering technology students can explore a number of relevant topics pertinent to their success as a student as well as a future practicing engineer. The resulting diversity served well as a precursor to examining these outcomes from different engineering perspectives. The teaching strategy necessarily recognizes that an ability to understand professional, ethical, and social responsibilities extends quite naturally into the other areas of emphasis included in the outcomes. Presentations and class work include traditional instruction, guess speakers, group projects, extensive writing, and student presentations on selected topics. This paper will present several innovative techniques for addressing, assessing, and evaluating the outcomes noted above and provide insights into the benefits of integrating electrical, mechanical, and civil disciplines into the same learning environment. Additionally, this paper will present a unique approach to incorporating out-of- the-classroom social and community events that provide timely opportunities for students to

Cottrell, D. (2010, June), Integrating Cultural Development Into A Multi Disciplinary Seminar Course: Broadening The Student Horizon To Better Function And Appreciate Global, Contemporary Issues Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16890

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