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Minors as a Means of Developing Technological and Engineering Literacy for Non-engineers

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Technological Literacy and the Non-science College Student

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.939.1 - 25.939.12



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Paper Authors


John Krupczak Hope College

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John Krupczak is professor of engineering, Hope College, Holland, Mich.; CASEE Senior Fellow (2008-2010); Past Chair, ASEE Technological Literacy Division, and Past Chair, ASEE Liberal Education Division.

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Mani Mina Iowa State University


Robert J. Gustafson Ohio State University

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Robert J. Gustafson, P.E., Ph.D., is Honda Professor for engineering education and Director of the Engineering Education Innovation Center in the College of Engineering and a professor of food, agricultural, and biological engineering at the Ohio State University. He has previously served at Ohio State as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Services (1999-2008) and Department Chair of Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department (1987-1999).

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James F. Young P.E. Rice University


Scott VanderStoep Hope College

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Scott VanderStoep is professor of psychology and Director of Campus Assessment.

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 Minors as a Means of Developing Technological and Engineering Literacy for Non‐Engineers  While the integration of engineering concepts into a undergraduate education has long been promoted as desirable, the means to accomplish this integration have been limited.  Work is underway which aims to develop minors or certificates to be offered by engineering departments as an approach to developing technological competence in non‐engineers. Minors or certificates provide a recognized credential deemed attractive by many students.   A collaboration between w State University, x  State University,  y  College, and z University is developing concepts and resources to support model engineering minors or certificates which can be adopted efficiently and widely within American higher education.  This work is developing a set of Technological Literacy Outcomes for such a minor. These outcomes are similar in concept to the ABET a‐k outcomes that are used for engineering degrees, but are broader in scope and focus on developing broadly technologically literate and empowered citizens.  A standard set of outcomes rather than a prescribed series of courses, will allow flexibility for each institution to develop minors or certificates that are best suited to its local conditions.   Included in this work are examples of courses offered by engineering departments for non‐engineering students and descriptions of engineering literacy minor programs from a range of institutions.  Results from surveys of non‐engineering students regarding factors influencing potential interest in engineering literacy minors or certificates will also be presented.  Data obtained from potential employers regarding the perception of the value of engineering‐literacy certificates and minors will be discussed.  Results of testing to determine gains in engineering‐related skills by non‐engineers will be reviewed.  

Krupczak, J., & Mina, M., & Gustafson, R. J., & Young, J. F., & VanderStoep, S. (2012, June), Minors as a Means of Developing Technological and Engineering Literacy for Non-engineers Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21696

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