June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Computers in Education
14.848.1 - 14.848.21
Leveraging Workforce Needs to Inform Curricular Change in Computing Education for Engineering: The CPACE Project Abstract
Traditionally, industry computational needs have been couched in terms of proficiency with specific applications rather than around functional computational capabilities. In this global economy, the preparation of a globally competitive U.S. workforce with knowledge and understanding of critical computing concepts, methodologies, and techniques is essential. A Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs (CPACE) is an NSF-funded community-building initiative that brings together Michigan State University (MSU) in partnership with Lansing Community College (LCC) and the Corporation for Skilled Workforce (CSW) to design and implement a process to transform undergraduate computing education within the engineering and technology fields. We envision that this process will serve as a model for national efforts to revitalize undergraduate computing education in engineering.
In this paper we detail the process we developed to engage a wide variety of stakeholders – business, community leaders and post-secondary educators – to collaborate on research to identify computational skills needed by the engineering workforce. We also discuss the results from our employer interviews and employee surveys. The aim of these analyses is to determine the stakeholder’s assessments of the computational skills needs in their business sectors.
This research provides the foundation for revising the curricula across engineering departments to incorporate computational problem-solving tools within the various disciplinary contexts. The goal is for engineering graduates to enter the workforce with improved and practice-ready computational thinking that will enable them to problem-solve and understand computational problem-solving in the context of the principles of computer science.
A Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs: The CPACE initiative
There is a call for action to revise undergraduate engineering education to meet the challenges of the new era; these challenges include globalization, international competition, an increasingly diverse population, and a rapid growth in information technologies. For engineering education to prepare graduates to flourish in the new global economy, innovation and flexibility in curriculum design based on constituency input and quality improvement principles are necessary1. The CPACE project is designed to address these challenges in the context of computing education within engineering disciplines. CPACE brings together post secondary educators – represented by MSU and LCC – and business, industry and community leaders – represented by CSW – in a community building process to transform undergraduate computing education within the engineering and technology fields. The goal of the CPACE project is to develop a partnership among a wide variety of stakeholders to identify the computational skills that are essential for an engineering workforce for the 21st Century. The objective is to revise the engineering curricula to address computational problem-solving that is aligned with industry needs. This approach somewhat mirrors the process by which ABET accomplished a reformed evaluation criteria
Vergara, C. E., & Urban-Lurain, M., & Dresen, C., & Coxen, T., & MacFarlane, T., & Frazier, K., & Briedis, D., & Buch, N., & Paquette, L., & Sticklen, J., & LaPrad, J., & Wolff, T. (2009, June), Leveraging Workforce Needs To Inform Curricular Change In Computing Education For Engineering: The Cpace Project Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5558
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