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. 10.18260/1-2--20700
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015