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Study of a Teaching Practicum in an engineering Ph.D. Curriculum

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1349.1 - 22.1349.9



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Paper Authors


Wayne E. Whiteman Georgia Institute of Technology

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Wayne E. Whiteman is a Senior Academic Professional and Director of the Office of Student Services in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy in 1979, a master’s degree from MIT in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1996. Whiteman is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army and completed 24 years of active military service. He served on the West Point faculty from 1987 to 1990, and 1998 to 2003. He has been at Georgia Tech since 2003.

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William J. Wepfer Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. William J. Wepfer is the Eugene C. Gwaltney Jr. School Chair and Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Dr. Wepfer’s research interests are in thermal systems, heat transfer, and thermodynamics, with particular emphasis on energy systems. Dr. Wepfer is a Fellow of ASME and ASHRAE. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and is the Vice-President for Education for ASME. He has served departmental advisory boards at Pennsylvania State University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University.

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Jeffrey A. Donnell Georgia Institute of Technology

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Jeffrey Donnell holds a Ph.D. from Emory University. An instructor of writing since 1982, he has taught professional writing at both the graduate and undergraduate levels since 1987. Dr. Donnell now coordinates the Frank K. Webb Program in Professional Communication at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

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Study of a Teaching Practicum in an engineering Ph.D. CurriculumAbstractThe xxxx School of Mechanical Engineering at xxxx requires all Ph.D. students tocomplete a Teaching Practicum course during their doctoral studies. Students workclosely with faculty mentors in teaching a course. While the focus of the class is onpedagogy, the goal is for students to find the experience useful regardless of whether theyare going into academia, industry, a research laboratory, or other career pursuits. Inaddition to issues dealing with teaching engineering, sessions are organized for careerplanning, success in both academia and industry, ethics, and basic counseling andmentoring skills. This paper is a study of the effectiveness of the Teaching Practicumexperience. Survey responses are analyzed from nearly 100 Ph.D. alumni for the periodfrom the summer of 1996 to the spring of 2009. The results show that the TeachingPracticum class is well received and valued. A retrospective look at the course andlessons learned are offered.

Whiteman, W. E., & Wepfer, W. J., & Donnell, J. A. (2011, June), Study of a Teaching Practicum in an engineering Ph.D. Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18845

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