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Leveraging Workforce Needs To Inform Curricular Change In Computing Education For Engineering: The Cpace Project

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer Education Innovations

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

14.848.1 - 14.848.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5558

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Claudia E. Vergara Michigan State University

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Claudia Elena Vergara. PhD Purdue University.
Fields of expertise: Plant Biology and STEM Education Research
Dr. Vergara is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Research in College Science Teaching and Learning (CRCSTL) at Michigan State University. Her research interest is in STEM education through research projects on instructional design, implementation and assessment of student learning, aimed to improve science and technology education.

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Mark Urban-Lurain Michigan State University

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Mark Urban-Lurain is the Director of Instructional Technology Research & Development in the Division of Science and Mathematics Education at Michigan State University. Dr. Urban-Lurain's research interests are in theories of cognition, their impact on instructional design and applying these to the use of instructional technology. He is also interested in the role of technology in educational improvement and reform.

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Cindee Dresen Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

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Cindee Dresen is CSW’s Director of Operations. Ms. Dresen is responsible for staffing management, work design and delivery, product and service continuous improvement, organizational learning, knowledge and information management, technology planning, and infrastructure oversight.

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Tammy Coxen Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

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Tammy joined CSW in 2001, and has participated in a wide variety of project and development work. Her recent work has included the development of models and methodologies for industry and occupational prioritization, and facilitating
identification of sector strategy approaches to workforce and economic development at the state and local level. Tammy is also adept at conducting research and analysis of employer skill needs.

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Taryn MacFarlane Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

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Kysha Frazier Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

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Daina Briedis Michigan State University

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Daina Briedis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University. Dr. Briedis has been involved in several areas of education research including student retention, curriculum redesign, and the use of technology in the classroom. She is a co- PI on two NSF grants in the areas of integration of computation in engineering curricula and in developing comprehensive strategies to retain early engineering students. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering accreditation and is a Fellow of ABET.

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Neeraj Buch Michigan State University

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Louise Paquette Lansing Community College

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Louise Paquette is a professor at Lansing Community College in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. Professor Paquette is the coordinator of the 2+2+2 Engineering Program, a collaborative effort between the Lansing Public School system, Lansing Community College, and Michigan State University involving students from the three Lansing High Schools.

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Jon Sticklen Michigan State University

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Jon Sticklen is the Director of the Applied Engineering Sciences major, College of Engineering, Michigan State University. Dr. Sticklen also serves as the College Coordinator for engineering education research, and is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, MSU. Dr. Sticklen has lead a laboratory in knowledge-based systems focused on task specific approaches to problem solving. More recently, Dr. Sticklen has pursued engineering education research focused on early engineering; his current research is supported by NSF/DUE and NSF/ CISE.

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Jeannine LaPrad Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

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Jeannine La Prad is President and CEO of CSW, national policy research and development organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jeannine is responsible for strategic leadership and management work that advances the organizatios vision and mission, as well as the development of CS⁗s portfolio of workforce, economic, and community development initiatives
and projects. She has led the development of policy innovation work within the state of Michigan as well as in other states around the country.

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Thomas Wolff Michigan State University

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Thomas F. Wolff is Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in geotechnical engineering and reliability analysis. His research and consulting has focused on the design and evaluation of dams, levees and hydraulic structures, and he has been involved in several studies related to the failure of New Orleans levees in hurricane Katrina. As Associate Dean, he oversees curriculum, advising, career planning, study abroad, early engineering and other related initiatives.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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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