June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Engineering Leadership Development Division
26.1060.1 - 26.1060.21
Leading Large-Scale Change in an Engineering ProgramWhile many efforts have been made to improve technical and professional skills in engineeringgraduates, there has been little comprehensive change in the pedagogy of most engineeringeducation institutions in the U.S. Many of these efforts involve changing only one or twoaspects of the curriculum, and therefore are less likely to make significant changes in the studentlearning outcomes. For better success, engineering curricular changes will need to address theentire education system. In order to see real, sustainable improvement in engineering educationpractice, both the behaviors of the participants and the systems within which these participantsact must have change. Changes in education practices are unlikely to develop and persistwithout concurrent and structural changes at the administrative level; thus we have focused thisstudy on understanding the activities of individuals during an administrative change. Further,this study highlights the importance of how change agents work with the various groups, or sub-cultures, within universities as well as the opportunity for leadership from the faculty anddepartment chair ranks.This study seeks to better understand the change management activities and opportunities thatoccurred as [name removed for blind review], a new program meeting the national call describedabove, was developed and implemented. [Program name removed] is a two-year, project-basedprogram that allows students with two-year college degrees to complete a bachelor’s degree inengineering. The program is a partnership between a community college and a state university,separated geographically by several hundred miles. The program takes place at the communitycollege, targeting students in that part of the state and responding to the needs of local industries.Because of the complex nature of the institutional partnership, as well as the project-based, team-focused emphasis, the program serves as an innovative model for engineering education.This study was guided by the following questions: 1) How did the program come about? 2)What helped or hindered the process? 3) What lessons learned from this process can inform andimprove future transformational efforts in engineering education? To address these questions,approximately 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals who played a widerange of roles in the development and implementation process. All interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed, and analyzed qualitatively. An overview of the study will be presentedalong with preliminary findings, including recommendations and implications for broaderapplication of the resulting model for change.
Allendoerfer, C., & Bates, R. A., & Karlin, J., & Ulseth, R. R., & Ewert, D. (2015, June), Leading Large-Scale Change in an Engineering Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24397
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