June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.808.1 - 24.808.8
Creating Flexibility in an IE Program – What do students want?Calls from industry, non-profits and government consistently encourage engineering programs to create awell-rounded engineer—one who is more than a technical expert, who is positioned to be a successfulleader of industry, government, and the academy. But how can university faculty meet these calls? Whatis meant by a well-rounded engineer? How can engineering programs add the flexibility needed todevelop these well-rounded engineers, while adhering to the requirements of ABET and ensuring aprogram’s continued accreditation? Two years ago, the Industrial Engineering faculty at a Carnegie VHRuniversity undertook a major project to revamp and update their curriculum and attempt to answer thesequestions. The results of the project represented a major curriculum change, with nearly 30% of thecourse credits in the curriculum undergoing some level of change. The cornerstone of these updatessought to increase flexibility in the program through introduction of cognate electives. This new cognateadds a free-form series of elective courses to the program which replaces a traditional set of professionalelectives focused on engineering topics. The cognate enables students to develop a customized focus areabased on their interests that is outside yet complementary to core industrial engineering topics. Theelectives are structured in a way that provides students a high degree of flexibility to explore other areasof education within the university and requires them to develop greater expertise in their chosen outsideinterest area. The change represents a higher level of flexibility than most traditional engineeringprograms allow. This article examines the creation and implementation of this program and explores howstudents are using this new-found flexibility.
Schell, W. J., & Claudio, D., & Sobek, D. K., & Stanley, L., & Ward, N. (2014, June), Introducing Flexibility in an Engineering Curriculum Through Student Designed Elective Programs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20700
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