New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The Professional Doctorate for Engineering & Technology Professionals
Given the escalating demands of our information age and the pervasiveness and multiplicity of new technologies it is no wonder that business and industry feels the need for appropriate education beyond the master's degree level (Bement, Dutta, & Patil, 2015, National Academy of Engineering). Furthermore, there seems to be significant call for more than the ubiquitous corporate professional development opportunities that address specific needed topics but in a rather non-systematic programmatic manner. The authors view the forces leading to the need for a professional doctorate as including; the disciplinary leadership of universities, the needs of incumbent and preparing professionals, emerging needs of future technologies, and the needs of business and industry. These four converging forces act on the core of the four primary aspects of advanced post-graduate, doctoral in this case, education that needs to be tailored to be responsive to the situation we face. The fields of Nursing, Engineering (in England), Industrial Technology (others?) have all made moves towards establishing a professional doctorate. With our mission to not only be responsive to the needs of business and industry, but also to lead in providing for a constructive environment for these sectors to flourish, Purdue University's Polytechnic Institute, in concert with its ProSTAR arm, has launched an initiative to conceptualize and deliver a professional doctorate focusing on technology leadership and innovation.
But first, What is a professional doctorate and how is it different that the other doctorates (PhDs) typically offered by research and doctoral intensive flagship universities? Simply put, professional doctorates focus on in-depth, cutting edge technologies, innovation skills and the leadership and effective organization of teams and corporate units. Such programs seek to prepare advanced level practitioners for business and industry rather than basic researchers for the academy. The goal is enabling increased competitiveness, sustainability and socially responsible endeavor.
In addition to cutting edge content, such professional doctorates must necessarily employ and integrate a significant variety of performance learning technologies, self-directed learning and corporate support for experiential learning. These programs must directly address the myriad of challenges facing business and industry and they will need to operate at the pace of such enterprises.
Instead of the typical research-focused dissertations such programs will conceptualize, research and plan for implementation of a field/practice based research and /or development project in any of the arenas of today's complex enterprise. Typically they will advance a state of a technology or practice from one TRL to the next higher level. In essence they will engage in use-inspired research.
The paper and presentation will detail the forces propelling the move to the professional doctorate. It will then, based on an extensive review of the literature, from Europe as well as the USA, highlight the salient characteristics of the existing professional doctorates and the fields in which they are found. Subsequently the authors will share key features of an industry-targeted design for a professional doctorate. A proposal will be overviewed in terms of the envisioned curriculum, delivery mechanisms, learning experiences and experiential components as well as a description of the target audiences. Time will be provided for a significant question and answer session
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Bement, Jr., A., Dutta, D., & and Patil, L. (2015). Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders. Washington, DC: National Academy of Engineering; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Dyrenfurth, M. J., & Newton, K. A., & Springer, M. L., & Johnson, M. E., & Rapp, R. R. (2016, June), The Professional Doctorate for the Engineering & Technology Profession Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26996
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