Asee peer logo

The Modalities of Governance in Engineering Education

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Identity, Culture, and Socialization

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35348

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35348

Download Count

89

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Atsushi Akera Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Atsushi Akera is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania. His current research is on the history of engineering education reform in the United States (1945-present). He is a the current Chair of the ASEE Ad Hoc Committee on Interdivisional Cooperation; Chair of the International Network for Engineering Studies (INES); past chair of the ASEE Liberal Education / Engineering and Society Division; and a former member of the Society for the History of Technology’s (SHOT) Executive Council. Publications include /Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers and Computers during the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research/ (MIT Press, 2006).

visit author page

biography

Soheil Fatehiboroujeni Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5129-7428

visit author page

Soheil FatehiBoroujeni is a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University School of Engineering Education as well as a lead instructor at Purdue First-Year Engineering Program. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Merced in 2018.

visit author page

biography

Sarah Appelhans University at Albany-SUNY

visit author page

Sarah Appelhans is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology. Her dissertation research, "Steel Toes and Ponytails: Gender and Belonging in Engineering", investigates the boundaries of membership in engineering in the Capital District of New York. She is honored to be a research assistant on the NSF-sponsored study on engineering education reform entitled "The Distributed System of Governance in Engineering Education." In addition to her academic experience, she is a former mechanical engineer with several years of experience in the aviation and construction industries.

visit author page

biography

Alan Cheville Bucknell University

visit author page

Alan Cheville studied optoelectronics and ultrafast optics at Rice University, followed by 14 years as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University working on terahertz frequencies and engineering education. While at Oklahoma State, he developed courses in photonics and engineering design. After serving for two and a half years as a program director in engineering education at the National Science Foundation, he took a chair position in electrical engineering at Bucknell University. He is currently interested in engineering design education, engineering education policy, and the philosophy of engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Jennifer Karlin Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now a professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she is helping to build the Bell Engineering program, and the managing partner of Kaizen Academic.

visit author page

biography

Donna M. Riley Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Donna Riley is Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

visit author page

biography

Thomas A. De Pree Bucknell University

visit author page

Thomas De Pree is postdoctoral researcher at Bucknell University for the project, "Developing Human Social Networks to Identify and Develop Data-Driven Metrics and Methods for Expanding Learning Opportunities Across the Lifetime" (NSF, DUE-1745922), PI Alan Cheville and Co-PI Atsushi Akera. De Pree holds a Ph.D and M.S. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a M.A. in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

visit author page

author page

Rafael Julián Burgos-Mirabal University of Massachusetts- Amherst

Download Paper |

Abstract

In this paper or poster presentation, we hope to present to and interact with our audience with respect to a key touchpoint in our national study of engineering education reform. Based on an NSF collaborative grant, our project team has conducted approximately 280 semi-structured interviews at over 40 different institutions with regards to change processes that operate within engineering education. Originally inspired by our earlier work on ABET, we framed our study around questions of governance, namely how national organizations and national conversations do and don’t shape changes in engineering education. However, our early interviews made it very clear that US engineering schools viewed themselves as participating in a competitive market, where local initiatives and innovations are as important if not more important to their student experience and institutional reputation. This said, market mechanisms and the way in which local innovations circulate (entrepreneurship, maker spaces, humanitarian engineering) are themselves a form of coordination, pointing to more subtle modes of governance that operate within engineering education. Drawing on the multi-theory framework of Austin and Jones’ for understanding Higher Education Governance (2015), we use this presentation to begin to tease apart the different modes through which change occurs within engineering education.

For the sake of argument, we pose the relationship in terms of a tension between governance and local innovation, while during the presentation of each, we point to their inevitable interdependence. With respect to governance, we focus on ABET and the different modes of compliance and engagement with ABET’s expectations for continuous improvement; differences in state systems of higher education, and the impact on public institutions; market mechanisms that are brought to play through national ranking systems and especially US News and World Reports; and the expanding role of industrial advisory committees following ABET EC 2000. With regards to local innovation, we focus on local cultures of innovation, especially at undergraduate institutions; the role of academic freedom in promoting innovation, but also limiting coordination; concerns about the cost of education and its varied responses; and institutional initiatives designed to address concerns about diversity and inclusion.

Our data sample includes public and private universities; research universities and undergraduate institutions (of different rank); general universities, engineering schools, liberal arts colleges, and two-year institutions; and both primarily white and minority (primarily Hispanic) serving institutions. By describing the diverse ways in which these various forces for change interact, we hope to reveal broad patterns that characterize the change processes that operate within the complex institutional ecology for engineering education in the United States. Especially if organized as a poster session, we will use this as an opportunity to interact with our audience to test our findings against the diverse experiences and institutional affiliations of those in attendance.

Akera, A., & Fatehiboroujeni, S., & Appelhans, S., & Cheville, A., & Karlin, J., & Riley, D. M., & De Pree, T. A., & Burgos-Mirabal, R. J. (2020, June), The Modalities of Governance in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35348

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015