Asee peer logo

Work in Progress: Impact of Exposure to Broad Engineering on Student Perceptions

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Course Tools and Practices

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kellie Grasman Missouri University of Science & Technology

visit author page

Kellie Grasman serves as an instructor in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She holds graduate degrees in engineering and business administration from the University of Michigan, and began teaching in 2001 after spending several years in industry positions. She was named the 2011-2012 Robert B. Koplar Professor of Engineering Management for her achievements in online learning. She serves as an eMentor for the University of Missouri System and earned a Faculty Achievement Award for teaching.

visit author page


Julie Phelps Missouri University of Science & Technology

visit author page

Julie Phelps has been an instructional designer at Missouri University of Science and Technology since 2010. She supports faculty in the effective use of technology in the classroom as well as blended/online course development. She holds an M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies from The University of Colorado-Denver and a B.S. Ed. from The University of Missouri, Columbia.

From 2001-2010, Julie was an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center providing professional development to K-12 teachers throughout Missouri. Prior to eMINTS, Julie taught elementary grades in Missouri, Texas, and Colorado over a span of 17 years.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper explores the impact of exposure to “Broad Engineering” on student values and attitudes. A Broad Engineering perspective is presented by exploring the diverse challenges engineers will face in the 21st century and examining the knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet these challenges. This broad perspective is analogous to the horizontal bar of the T-shaped skills model introduced by David Guest in 1991. A required undergraduate-level technical management survey course, consisting of 75% mechanical engineering majors and 89% males, was redesigned to expand the overall course goals while maintaining coverage of core topics. Students are exposed to visions of our world in future decades and tasked to explore the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for the 21st century. They are then asked to evaluate their individual strengths and weaknesses relative to the knowledge, skills and abilities identified by ASEE and NSF as critical for success as a 21st century engineer. Throughout the semester course, students are tasked to explore topics that reinforce a broad perspective of engineering, well beyond the purely technical, including; cross-cultural communication challenges, ethical dilemmas in modern engineering, entrepreneurship and the maker movement, social responsibility of the profession, the human elements of project management, etc. As topics are presented, students are required to discuss opposing perspectives, reflect on their own aspirations, and ultimately identify opportunities for personal growth and further learning. An exploration of student “areas for continued growth”, as self-identified by students in the final course module, offers some insight into the impact of exposure to the broad, T-shaped topics. Qualitative and quantitative exploratory data may inform future study to focus on persistence.

Grasman, K., & Phelps, J. (2018, June), Work in Progress: Impact of Exposure to Broad Engineering on Student Perceptions Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31291

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: © 2018 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