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Maintaining Excellence in Undergraduate Education: The Faculty Development Seminars of the Baylor University School of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) Over the Last Six Years

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

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CYNTHIA C. FRY is currently a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science at Baylor University. She worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as a Senior Project Engineer, a Crew Training Manager, and the Science Operations Director for STS-46. She was an Engineering Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy (IRR), and worked with the Naval Maritime Intelligence Center as a Scientific/Technical Intelligence Analyst. She was the owner and chief systems engineer for Systems Engineering Services (SES), a computer systems design, development, and consultation firm. She joined the faculty of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor University in 1997, where she teaches a variety of engineering and computer science classes, she is the Faculty Advisor for the Women in Computer Science (WiCS), the Director of the Computer Science Fellows program, and is a KEEN Fellow. She has authored and co-authored over forty peer-reviewed papers.

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Kenneth W. Van Treuren Baylor University

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Ken Van Treuren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at Baylor University. He received his B. S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and his M. S. in Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. After serving as USAF pilot in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, he completed his DPhil in Engineering Sciences at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom and returned to the USAF Academy to teach heat transfer and propulsion systems. At Baylor University, he teaches courses in laboratory techniques, fluid mechanics, energy systems, and propulsion systems, as well as freshman engineering. Research interests include renewable energy to include small wind turbine aerodynamics and experimental convective heat transfer as applied to HVAC and gas turbine systems.

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Maintaining Excellence in Undergraduate Education:  The Faculty Development Seminars of the Baylor University School of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) Over the Last Six Years

“How does a consistently ranked undergraduate engineering and computer science program retain its excellence in undergraduate education, while also aspiring to become an outstanding research institution?”  This is a question we posed in 2011, when a series of faculty development seminars were begun as one part of a series of innovations in education made in the School of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) at Baylor. It is a question that is of interest to many universitites.

Excellence in teaching has always been a hallmark of Baylor University. A recent growth in the graduate program prompted the School of ECS to develop a strategy to help faculty, expecially research active faculty, see the importance of classroom teaching and to develop classroom skills. This paper will document the original plan to provide tools to enable faculty to grow in both their research programs as well as undergraduate education (site original paper here), focusing on the series of Faculty Development Seminars (FDSs) and end-of-semester workshops held every year since 2011.

The purpose for this work has not changed - as we aspire to encourage innovation in our classrooms and instill a greater appreciation for Baylor, we must, ourselves, continue to grow in our development as faculty, modeling the innovation and appreciation we teach in the very processes by which we teach.  We will document the FDSs conducted to date, and provide a longitudinal assessment of the changes introduced through an evaluation of the “before” and “after” courses modified as a result of this work at Baylor.  We will also document the long-term benefits to the School, and will generalize these lessons learned to be adopted/adapted by anyone else.

Fry, C. C., & Van Treuren, K. W. (2018, June), Maintaining Excellence in Undergraduate Education: The Faculty Development Seminars of the Baylor University School of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) Over the Last Six Years Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30782

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