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Measuring Culture Change In Engineering Education

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.707.1 - 6.707.12

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Paper Authors

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Eli Fromm

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Jack McGourty

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

Session 3530

Measuring Culture Change in Engineering Education Eli Fromm, Drexel University Jack McGourty, Columbia University

I. Introduction

The reform movement in engineering education is providing several lessons in culture change within the academic setting. From the development of interdisciplinary curricula to the new focus on outcomes-based assessment, faculty, administration, students, alumni, and parents are experiencing the push and pull of these changes. This paper focuses on the need to clearly define the intended institutional outcomes. The process of developing culture change metrics is described and the results from seven engineering schools are explored. The paper includes several samples of aggregate results demonstrating both the benefits and challenges of collecting such information.

Based on the experience of the seven institution members of the Gateway Coalition for Engineering Education, we describe in detail the steps taken to define objectives and the metrics used to measure progress. The goals of the Coalition are derived from the common interests, vision, and expectations of the collective body of individual institutions and supported by the facilitating role and influence of cross-coalition support functions, such as outcome assessment and technology. The Coalition has defined six major functions and related objectives that address those common interests, goals, and vision. The six major objectives are as follows:

Objective 1. Implement and continuously improve innovative and adaptable curricula, driven by the work of the coalition and others, recognizing the needs of students, industry and society. Objective 2. Imbed a culture in the learning environment for Professional Development of faculty and students. Objective 3. Broaden Diversity of race, gender and socio-economic status to enlarge the opportunities for development of our human capital and to enhance the respect for, and benefits of, diverse cultures. Objective 4. Broaden the use of Information Technology to further the learning and educational objectives. Objective 5. Routinely link and share with others to transcend individual, disciplinary, and intra-institutional and inter-institutional boundaries. Objective 6. Imbed Assessment and Evaluation, as well as continuous improvement, as a fundamental ingredient of the educational process.

Fromm, E., & McGourty, J. (2001, June), Measuring Culture Change In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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