June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Continuing Professional Development
23.3.1 - 23.3.7
Integrating professionalism in a project-based engineering curriculumSince the publication of Engineer 2020 (and before) and the modification on accreditationcriteria made by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), professionalismhas been an important subject in engineering education. The expectations of engineers have beenchanging due to the changes in technologies, societies and even global economy. Nowadays,engineers are expected to be competent in both technical and professional skills. It has alsocome to the attention of many engineering institutions to implement professionalism as a part oftheir engineering curricula.Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a learning method in which students learn their technicalknowledge in the context of an industry or faculty-defined project. Moreover, PBL provides anactive learning environment and increases students’ interests and motivations. PBL not onlyenables students to practice self-directed learning and to find sustainable solutions to designproblems, it creates an opportunity for students to recognize that they are part of a globalcommunity, as well as teaches students communication (written, verbal, presentation),organization and time management, research and inquiry, self-assessment and reflection,engineering ethics, group participation and leadership skills.Iron Range Engineering (IRE), a complete project-based program, has realized the importance ofprofessionalism and implemented professionalism as a part of the curriculum. The IRE studentshave to enroll and complete 12 credits professionalism in their last two years of their B.Sengineering degree. These 12 credits are divided into 4 courses called Professionalism I, II, IIIand IV. Each of these courses includes various components such as life-long learning, leadership,communication (written, verbal), teamwork, engineering ethics, community outreach, etc. In thispaper, we explain the structure, outcomes, syllabi and course material of these professionalismcourses. Additionally, we discuss how a PBL program, such as IRE, provides opportunities forstudents to practice and to integrate their professional skills in their team projects. We alsoinclude the feedback received from local industry; ABET evaluators and our academic advisoryboard.
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