New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Educational Research and Methods
Vertical Integration of the Liberal Arts in Engineering Education
Engineers are charged with creating, developing and implementing technological solutions to contemporary challenges, and innovating solutions for tomorrow’s. Yet, engineering training is primarily focused on comprehension of the mathematical, physical and sometimes, chemical equations governing the behavior of systems and their components and applications of these, often with little attention to humanistic inquiry. This can lead to engineers who are not trained to think critically about human and social dimensions of challenges nor integrate them fully in decision making. The Teagle Foundation funded us through their “Liberal Arts in the Professions” program, in which liberal arts education will be embedded into the curriculum of undergraduates preparing for the professions. Under this proposal faculty at XXX worked with their counterparts at XXX to develop a suite of measures to integrate liberal arts teaching into the undergraduate engineering curriculum.
The objectives of our educational research are as follows: 1) Faculty from engineering and faculty from the social sciences and humanities shall develop strong working relationships and together implement and evaluate strategies for working across disciplines. 2) Students of engineering and their counterparts in the liberal arts and humanities shall engage in peer-to-peer learning and work together to solve problems. 3) Liberal arts and humanities content will be better integrated into the engineering curriculum. 4) Engineering students will understand the value and relevance of their General Education. 5) The engineering programs will be better positioned to assess their performances on the “soft skills” ABET outcomes (above) and improve these performances. We plan to accomplish the objectives of this initiative through the following strategies: 1) Establish Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) within each campus, comprising approximately 12 faculty in total taken from engineering and a number of different disciplines within the humanities. 2) Utilize and expand existing G.E. Paths to meet the needs of engineering students and the goals of this program. 3) Create new minor in Urban Sustainability/Citizenship/Engaged Citizen and incentivize engineering students to take it through advisement. 4) Identify engineering courses with potential for liberal arts integration and adopt a variety of strategies (team teaching, FLC development, online modules) for accomplishing this. 5) Develop new courses for engineers that integrate liberal arts using FLCs.
Keywords: Liberral arts, engineering education, faculty learning communities, general engineering paths, sustainability
Li, B., & Ryan, R. G., & Warter-Perez, N., & Gan, Y., & Mustafa, H., & Cox, H., & Ding, L. (2016, June), Vertical Integration of the Liberal Arts in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27179
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