June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1087.1 - 12.1087.7
Multidisciplinary Experiences For Undergraduate Engineering Students
Multidisciplinary (MD) team skills are of increasing importance in industry, and are required for programs that are ABET accredited. This can be challenging to provide, particularly for programs with high unit counts and a large student body. We have responded by establishing a multidisciplinary graduation requirement across the College of Engineering at Cal Poly. This requirement is mandatory. It may be satisfied by various curricular and co-curricular routes, easing throughput issues compared to having a single venue. In the paper we describe activities that satisfy the MD requirement, our general approach and assessment methods.
Globalization of industry is adding pressure to the need for engineers that contribute effectively in team environments. This is becoming an increasing challenge for engineering programs to embrace, as they also face expanding disciplinary material. The tendency to favor disciplinary content versus interdisciplinary content was identified 10 years ago, for example in the 1997 Professional Activities Conference of the IEEE5, “Our education is not only essentially technical but, in recent years, has suffered from lack of breadth. It has become specialized and tends toward the high-level trade school approach.” Despite the emphasis on disciplinary studies, the need to function on multidisciplinary teams remains.
Earlier still, the 1995 National Research Council (NRC) and National Science Foundation (NSF) convocation on Undergraduate Education7 describes - "The needs of the work force are changing (American Society for Engineering Education, 1994; National Academy of Sciences, 1995) … dynamics in the labor market are putting a premium on students who have a broad knowledge of different subjects, … and the ability to work in teams. Students educated with a narrow disciplinary focus and in solitary learning styles can have difficulties adjusting to such an environment. Indeed, such difficulties are a dominant theme in the complaints voiced by business leaders about contemporary under- graduate education."
In February 2006, the IEEE updated its Code of Ethics by removing the word ‘engineering’ from its first point, changing “to accept responsibility in making engineering decisions” to “to accept responsibility in making decision”. Here, a professional organization has broadened the view of its standards. This is in contrast to the narrowing focus of many academic departments, and further emphasizes the need for change in academia.
DePiero, F., & Slivovsky, L. (2007, June), Multidisciplinary Experiences For Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2841
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015