Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Lists of desired knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) are widespread in undergraduate engineering programs (e.g., ABET Criteria 3; NAE Engineer of 2020 list of student attributes; ASEE’s TUEE report). In contrast, such KSA frameworks are less well developed in engineering graduate programs in the US. While some reviews of graduate education over the past decade have emphasized its traditional role of maintaining the pipeline of students for the professoriate, i.e., as future "stewards of the discipline," other reports have stressed the need to foster the development of broader professional skills in graduate students with a view to possible careers outside of the academy, especially in industry. This paper presents a critical review of the different ways these broader KSAs of Ph.D. graduates have been characterized and explores the potential application of such frameworks to engineering graduate programs. The paper draws on reports from Australia, Canada, Europe and the UK on the professional development of graduate students as well as some from the US. As occurs with KSA frameworks for undergraduate programs, the objective is to align expectations of all the stakeholders (e.g., students, industry, academics, universities, and government). However, in the context of graduate programs, these are presented in less prescriptive terms. Relationships between particular training programs and types of experiences as graduate students and the attainment of specific knowledge, skills, and abilities are less clear and reliable methods to measure the outcomes are still very much in their infancy. As most of the frameworks were developed for Ph.D.s in general, and in non-US settings, some adaptation is required when applying to local engineering graduate programs.
Holloway, E., & Radcliffe, D. F. (2018, June), Review of Global Trends in Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) Frameworks Applicable to Ph.D. Programs in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30938
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