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Personnel Improvement Plan: a Professionalism Assignment for Engineering Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

CPD Technical Session

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.979.1 - 24.979.9



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Paper Authors

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Cyrus Habibi P.E. Minnesota State University, Mankato


Ronald R. Ulseth Iron Range Engineering

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Ron Ulseth, P.E. is Co-Director of IRE as well as an instructor of technical competencies in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Ulseth has been teaching engineering fundamentals courses since 1988. He was a lead developer in the Itasca Community College Engineering program. Ulseth led a team of ~10 engineering educators from around the United States to develop the Iron Range Engineering program. In addition to being a engineering faculty member, he is a licensed professional mechanical engineer and recently retired after 25 years in the United States Navy Reserve as an Engineering Duty Officer. Ulseth has a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. He is a member of ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education), NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers), and is a life time member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Andrew Lillesve Iron Range Engineering

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Personnel Improvement Plan: a professionalism assignment for engineering students Iron Range Engineering (IRE) is an innovative project-based, upper level, engineering programwhere students are only juniors and seniors. The IRE students must enroll and complete oneProfessionalism course per semester (Professionalism I through Professionalism IV). As part ofeach professionalism course, students complete and submit an assignment named PersonalImprovement Plan (PIP). Each semester, through various experiences within the project teamsand discipline-specific workshops, each student self-assesses his/her improvement in followingcategories: • Leadership • Learning About Learning • Teamwork • Technical Writing • Technical Presenting • Professional Responsibility • Ethical Decision MakingFaculty expect that by completing this assignment, students recognize their areas ofimprovement and plan to achieve their professional goals while completing the program. But thequestions remained are: 1. How effective is this assignment? 2. What are the students’ motivations to complete this assignment? Because it is required or because it helps students build their professional careers? 3. What can we, as faculty, do to improve this assignment?In this paper, we will discuss some possible answers for these questions in addition to thedetailed description of this assignment. Students’ responses will be collected anonymously byconducting survey.

Habibi, C., & Ulseth, R. R., & Lillesve, A. (2014, June), Personnel Improvement Plan: a Professionalism Assignment for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22912

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