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Piloting Accessible Engineering Education Online

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Pedagogical Considerations for Teaching Engineering Professionals

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Rachel LeBlanc WPI

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Rachel LeBlanc is the Executive Director of Corporate and Professional Education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She manages the portfolio of non-traditional academic programs for the University including online programs, corporate education, and professional education. Rachel has over ten years of experience working with faculty and industry experts to create education solutions to meet business needs. She manages a variety of functional areas including business development, marketing, product development, and operations. Throughout her career, Rachel and her team have provided education solutions for several industries including defense, life science, high-tech, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and construction. Rachel currently serves on the Board of Directors of INCOSE as the Director of Marketing and Communications. In addition, she is on the Board of Directors for AUVSI New England. Rachel has a B.S. and M.S. in the life sciences, as well as an M.B.A.

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Making engineering education accessible to those without the ideal background has long been a challenge. Faculty are looking to admit students with demonstrated academic competence. How can we help potential students prove and/or gain competence in order to gain access to a high-quality engineering education? This session will walk through an experiment with a competency-based model that allows students to demonstrate competence to fill in gaps in the background. It will include insight into the process of determining the competencies and working backwards to design the curriculum and assessments. It will also provide background on the evolution of this approach from a focus on 'gap' undergraduate courses generally in demand to a modular, competency-based approach.

LeBlanc, R. (2016, June), Piloting Accessible Engineering Education Online Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25903

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