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Integrating Professional Development Modules in the Engineering Curriculum

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.802.1 - 25.802.7



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Paper Authors

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Elaine P. Scott Seattle Pacific University


Denise Wilson University of Washington

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Denise Wilson received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., in 1988 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 1989 and 1995, respectively. She is currently an Associate Professor with the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington, Seattle, and she was previously with the University of Kentucky, Lexington, in a similar position from 1996 to 1999. Her research interests are split between technical investment in the development of signal processing architectures, array platforms, and other infrastructures for visual, auditory, and chemical-sensing microsystems and equivalent interest in engineering education, with particular emphasis on affective and metacognitive factors that influence student success in STEM fields.

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Rebecca A. Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Integrating Professional Development Modules in the Engineering CurriculumAbstractA lack of professional development opportunities has been reported as a significant reason forchoosing to drop out of the engineering major at the undergraduate level. We focused on creatingand piloting “full” and “mini” professional development modules as part of a multi-universityCCLI Phase II effort. The “full” modules were developed specifically for engineering and otherSTEM students to be folded or integrated directly into existing gateway and introductory courseswhere professional development is a pervasive underpinning to the course objectives. Thesemodules were designed to be covered in a 50 minute classroom period with time for discussion.“Mini” modules provide an additional means to integrate professional development into thecurriculum. In this case, we anticipated the modules being used in capstone design courses whereprofessional development issues are imminent in the student’s career but course objectivesbroaden well beyond professional development. The “Mini” modules are brief overviews orsubsections of the full module topics, and consist of four or five slides for easy integration.“Mini” modules have been completed on the following topics: Professional Issues, includingHistory of Engineering (and Engineering Education): A brief overview of how engineeringcurricula came to be as they are today; The Influence of the Department/College/UniversityMission: A brief overview of the connections between the engineering curriculum and the localuniversity mission; Philosophy of Higher Education: An introduction to the overarchingphilosophy of education; Professional Development, including Informational Interviews: A briefintroduction to the use of informational interviews to learn more about a company or a particularposition within the company; Job Interviewing: An overview of how to prepare for jobinterviews; Networking: An overture to how networking can help students take advantage of theconnections that they have; Rapport and Active Listening: An introduction of how one can buildrapport through learning active listening skills; Learning Styles: An overview of four distinctlearning styles and the potential strengths and weaknesses that can result from these styles;Personality Styles: A brief overview of different personality styles in terms of strengths andweaknesses; Defining Purpose and Goals: A brief overview on how to best define your personalpurpose and goals to achieve maximum satisfaction; Written Communication in TechnicalFields: A brief overview of issues related to technical writing; and Engineering Ethics,including Engineering Ethics: A brief introduction to individual, professional and societalconsiderations; Virtue Ethics: A brief introduction on using virtue ethics in engineeringapplications; Design of a Plow: A micro-ethics case study in the consideration of values indesigning a plow for a developing country; Disaster Relief – A micro-ethics case study onconflicting ethical issues in disaster situations; Design of a Chip – A micro-ethics case study onbalancing technical and economic considerations.

Scott, E. P., & Wilson, D., & Bates, R. A. (2012, June), Integrating Professional Development Modules in the Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21559

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