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Professional Partners As Adjunct Instructors In Emerging Technology Courses

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Forum for Nontraditional Engineering Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1017.1 - 9.1017.6



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Paper Authors

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Dave Wangrow

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Doug Tougaw

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Professional Partners as Adjunct Instructors in Emerging Technology Courses

Douglas Tougaw and David Wangrow

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Valparaiso University / Global Telecom Solution Sector, Motorola

1. Introduction

Like every other electrical and computer engineering program across the country, Valparaiso University’s ECE department is faced with two great challenges. The first is to continually seek input from key stakeholders to determine the skills and knowledge expected of our graduates and to update our curriculum and courses to reflect these changing expectations. Many engineering educators have recognized the importance of a close relationship with industrial constituents and the benefits that such a relationship can have on student outcomes.1-4 The second challenge is to continually develop new laboratory facilities and faculty expertise necessary to teach courses in the emerging areas.

As part of the extensive assessment efforts required by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology5, Valparaiso has established a close relationship with a number of key stakeholders and routinely seeks their suggestions for revisions to the curriculum and the program learning objectives. However, in a relatively small department such as ours, it can be very difficult to recruit faculty members whose expertise is diverse enough to cover every area of emerging technology. Due to the geographic location of the university, it can also be difficult to hire adjunct and visiting faculty to teach part-time while continuing to pursue their engineering careers full-time. Thus, we have occasionally found ourselves in the position of knowing what needs to be taught but not having anyone who can teach it with the level of authority necessary to prepare students for a professional career in that field.

2. The Genesis of a New Course

In Spring 2003, as part of the preparation of a departmental strategic plan, the department faculty and its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) identified “wireless communications” as a key field in which our graduates are likely to pursue professional careers. As part of this process, the members of the TAC were asked whether they knew of any qualified tenure-track faculty candidates in that area. Although no likely candidates for a full-time position were identified, TAC member Dave Wangrow, Senior Director in Motorola's Global Telecom Solution Sector and a member of the Valparaiso University ECE class of 1984, offered to commute to campus once a week to teach the course in Fall 2003.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Wangrow, D., & Tougaw, D. (2004, June), Professional Partners As Adjunct Instructors In Emerging Technology Courses Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13796

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