June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.987.1 - 15.987.18
Professional Development Buffet: From Banquet to À La Carte Abstract
Both ABET and industrial advisory boards encourage engineering departments to include instruction in “soft skills” that reflect the broader professional qualities necessary for student success in their careers. These include oral and written communication, ethics and professional behavior, resume and interviewing skills, electronic and professional etiquette, information literacy, and broader knowledge of engineering solutions in a global or societal context. While some departments dedicate one or more instructional credits to accomplish this objective, others may integrate such topics into existing core courses. This paper presents a one-credit model for a junior-level course in professional development in chemical engineering at a large public university. The topical content which has been developed may also be used “À la carte” for incorporating elements into existing engineering courses if there is not room in the curriculum for an integrated course of this type. The complete course content, including the syllabus, subject matter presentations, assignments, and relevant links, is available on a public web site for use by engineering instructors: (www.courses.ncsu.edu/che395). Course evaluations indicate that students assign high values to this required seminar.
Engineering departments employ different strategies for introducing soft skills such as writing, oral presentation, teamwork, information literacy, and ethics. A frequently used approach is to utilize a first year course, either within the department or at the college level. 1-5 Depending on the resources available on campus, departments may choose to “outsource” this material by having students taking a technical writing, public speaking class, and/or engineering ethics class through the English or Communications Departments. Some departments choose to integrate this material within existing courses, such as senior design or labs, as evidenced by “writing across the curriculum” efforts. 6 Finally, a few departments have a dedicated course later in the curriculum, but this is not as common due to the demands of the curriculum. 7 (Add other literature from Dave’s folder)
In this paper we describe a one unit junior/senior seminar course in professional development of a variety of soft skills. The course integrates writing and speaking opportunities in a variety of formats to address the ABET soft skills areas. The course lecture materials are found on the web site (www.courses.ncsu.edu/che395). Reading assignments appear on the website and in two books of case collections involving technology and society. Speaking opportunities include a mock job interview, a technical case history, and a memorized poem.
The course topics, sequence and assignments appear in Table 1. The class and assignments include practice in writing (Assignments 1-4) and oral presentations (Assignments 2, 5,6), lectures and discussions on ethics (Assignments 4,5), case histories on technology and society (Assignment 3), and current issues in science and technology (Assignments 4 and 5), and a literature search to update a case history (Assignment 3).
Bullard, L., & Ollis, D. (2010, June), Professional Development Buffet: From Banquet To À La Carte Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15630
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