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3 Engineering Educotion Today SOME IMPORTANT ANGUS The success of U.S. engineering education has long been recog- nizecl worI(lwide. There are 311 engineering schools in the United States,' which are open to academically qualifier! students from any country, class, race, or ethnic group. Top students from around the world vie to attend U.S. colleges ant! universities to study engineering. U.S. engineering education is solidly baser! on in-clepth study of the natural sciences, engineering science, and mathematics, an approach recommended by the influential Grinter report in the 1950s (ASEE, 19551. Thus it is an education that is highly analytical and theoretical in nature, although in recent years increased attention has been given to instilling in undergraduates a better appreciation of design and other aspects of industrial practice. Graduate e(lucation is particularly strong in many U.S. engineering schools, in part because it is based on a research enterprise that is, generally speaking, second to none. This research orientation in turn enriches the undergraduate curriculum and influences its character through lectures and textbook clevelopment by faculty who are at the frontier of their field of knowledge and through the use of graduate students as teaching assistants. Many schools have programs that also provide undergraduates with direct research experience. This or~enta- tion toward research and discovery is a major attraction for foreign 1This was the number of institutions in 1994 that had programs in engineering that were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. (The schools had 1,494 accredited degree-granting programs that year.) 19

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20 ENGINEERING ED UCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM students, who often take the knowledge gained back to their home countries and industries, where it is put to practical use in the global marketplace. Despite these strengths, there are many areas where engineering education must improve if it is to remain the best in the world and better serve the needs of the nation. GRENS HEEDING IMPROVEMENT To attain the vision described in the preceding chapter Will require changes in engineering education. Already, however, in each of the areas discussed below some pioneering engineering educators and institutions are pursuing new directions. Their approaches need! to be disseminated, modified, and implemented more widely, and new approaches need to be tried and tailored to the circumstances and the nature of each institution. Some additional alternatives will be suggested in Chapter 5. A number of the industrial participants at the BEEd symposia expressed the view that radical change is needed. Paul - Rubbert, Chief of Aerodynamics Research at Boeing "I have become increasingly aware Company, said: that in the average engineering project, the first 10 percent of the decisions made effectively commit between 80 and 90 percent of all the resources that subsequently flow into that project. Unfortunately, most engineers are Ill-equipped to part~c~- pate in these important initial deci sions because they are not purely technical decisions. Although they have important technical dimensions, they also involve economics, ethics, politics, appreciation of international affairs, and general management considerations. Our current engineer ing curricula tend to focus on prepar ing engineers to handle the other 90 percent, the nut-and-bolt decisions that follow after the first 10 percent have been made. We need more engineers who can tackle the entire range of decisions." D. Allan Bromley, Dean of Engineering, Yale University, Personal communication to the BEEd, January 17, 1995 A sense of urgency is missing. We need to rec- ognize that the undergraduate process is broken, and cannot be fixed mainly by tinkering. Rather, it must be reinvented or reengineered. . . Robert Richie, Director of University Affairs at Hewlett- Packard, agrees that "a complete reform and new mission is needed. . ." to produce needed changes. Daniel Okun, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, painted a troubling picture in a letter sent to the BEEd (Okun, personal communication, March 22, ~ 9841. He noted that engineering is the only profession for which a four-year program of study is all that is required for professional status. As he pointed out: Prospective engineering students must make a deci sion to commit to engineering in the ~ Ith grade; yet many of the brightest young people prefer to keep their career options open longer than that. ,% . . . . . . A tour-year undergraduate curriculum cannot provide engineering students with the same preparation for leadership as those who have enjoyed six or more years of higher education in preparation for other r proresslons.

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 2 Recognizing these limitations, many engineering students opt for graduate study in law or business; those who enter graduate engineering programs become more specialized in science and research, rather than in engineering. Given all the technological advances that have been macle in engineering since mid-century, how can the same length of time now as then be adequate to prepare a student for a career in professional engineering? Okun concluded by saying, "Many 'band-aicl' solutions to these problems have been proposed and some actec] upon, without much impact. Unless engineering educators are challenged to consider and adopt significant changes, ~ fear that engineers in the future will be technicians, in the service of a better educated and prepared leader- ship drawn from other professions." Undergr~duotQ Curriculum The one area in which change is neecled most is the undergraduate engineering curriculum.2 It is now widely believed that for several decades too much emphasis was placed on engineering science (analysis) at the expense of design (creative synthesis) and other aspects of the practice of engineer- ing. Notwithstanding that students nee(1 a solid founda- tion in basic mathematics and physical science to for- mulate and solve problems, they also need much more exposure to the practice aspects of engineering. (Ap- pendix D presents a description, developed by the BEEd, of the purposes and principles of a progressive new undergraduate curriculum.) Many engineering educators and practitioners are ask- ing, Does today's engineering curriculum adequately engage students? Does it prepare them to adapt to the changing demands of the current ant! future engineering workplace and life in a complex technological society? These general questions often take specific form, such as: Do students gain a real sense of engineering early enough to hold their interest? "Engineering education needs to be a process that emphasizes synthesis and the integration of knowledge, and a much closer link among education, research, and professional practice." Francis C. Lutz, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Personal communication to the BEEd, March 9, 1994 2Graduate engineering education also is in need of reform. However, the BEEd focused primarily on undergraduate education as the area having the greatest influ- ence on the competitiveness of U.S. industries, recognizing also that reforms here will build the base for future reforms at the graduate level.

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22 ENGINEERING ED UCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM What shoul(1 be taught as "funciamentals"? Does engineering education integrate the fundamentals well enough with design and experimentation? Is it sufficiently practice-orientec! to prepare students to apply their knowledge quickly? (An(1 should this be required in an un(lergraduate program?) Is inclivi(lual achievement emphasized too strongly over team- work? Does the curriculum instill a sense of the social and business context anti the rapidly changing, global nature of engineering today and in the future? Is the curriculum updated frequently to reflect current and emerg- ing technology and tools? Is the unclergraduate educational experience broad enough and liberal enough to prepare students for possible entry into non- engineering professions, including general management? Does the curriculum instill a knowledge of how to learn ant! a desire to learn in a wide range of areas, both technical and . nontechnical, over the course of a lifetime? How can the curriculum, along with requirements for an engi- neering degree, be structured so as to prepare students simulta- neously for engineering practice and graduate stu(ly? The essential question is: What minimum combination of funda- mentals; skills; and acquaintance with problem formulation and solu- tion, the process of design, and the nature of professional practice is required to satisfy the description of an engineer pre- sented in the BEEct's vision? "We introduced a new approach in the fall of 1991 that requires each engineering freshman to take two intros uctory engineering courses In the first year. These courses, The National Science Foundation (NSF) has estab lished several programs designed to promote compre hensive reforms in unclergracluate engineering education. In 1988 it announced 10 awards in undergraduate cur offered by the six departments in the riculum clevelopment in engineering. The grants sup College of Engineering, emphasize ported various approaches to improving undergraduate problem-solving, hands-on, and engineering learning, including experiments in planning, design skills. The philosophy is to implementing, and disseminating new curricula (NSF, expose students early to "real" ~ 9~' One such initiative was Drexe} University's experi- mental Enhanced Educational Experience for Engineer- ing Students (E4), which sought a comprehensive restruc . . . engineering, concurrent wit. fundamentals." Edmond Ko, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Personal communication to the BEEd March 24, 1994 luring of the freshman and sophomore engineering cur- riculum in terms of objectives, subject matter, and in- structional methods. The E4 curriculum developed out of this effort stresses the unified foundations of engineering

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 23 rather than the compartmentalized collection of principles, divorced from engineering applications, that occupy the first two years of conventional undergraduate study. It also promotes the development of communication skills and encourages vigorous, continuous, life- long learning by exposing students to self-directed educational expe- riences and distance learning technologies. The university adopted the program throughout the College of Engineering in 1993-94 (Drexe] University, ~ 9921. Initial results have been extremely favor- able: for example, 62 percent of students entering E4 in fall 1989 received engineering degrees by the ens} of the 1994 summer term, compared with 32 percent of non-E4 engineering students at Drexe} during the same period of time (Drexe! University, 19941. in 1990, with the establishment of Engineering Education Coali- tions, NSF supplemented sponsorship of curriculum clevelopment experiments on individual campuses with multi-campus dissemina- tion of new curricula. Competitive awards are given to consortia of universities to participate in this program and support comprehensive curriculum reform at the engineering baccalaureate level. As of November 1994, a total of 58 colleges ant! universities were partici- pating in eight coalitions, representing every region of the United States and every type of engineering school. NSF's goals in this program are to improve teaching, restructure the engineering curricu- lum, and increase the number of engineering bachelor's degrees awarded to women, members of underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities. The program seeks to make engineering education more relevant and responsive to students by promoting creativity and the ability to learn independently (NSF, 19931. A third NSF program, which began in 1991, was (lesigne(1 to encourage establisher! engineering researchers in emerging fielcis to become involves] in curriculum development. The Combined Re- search/Curriculum Development Program awards, as they are known, were each $400,000 over a three-year period, to be split evenly between research and curriculum development. One goal of these government-fundect curriculum development programs is to produce portable curriculum modules that can be share(1 among engineering schools nationwide on-line or via video- tape, text, television, anti software thereby increasing the (lissemi- nation of high-quality educational materials and reducing the workload on faculty. Many individuals believe that on-line tutorials in the form of "learning moclules" hold much promise for the future of engineer- ing education (McClintock, 19941. Tndustry's efforts to reform undergra(luate engineering education have been carried out generally on a smaller scale, with some 1- - - Cat-

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24 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM "For the student who needs a 'hands on' experience and aims at a terminal B.S. degree, an appropriate model might be the German Fachhoch- schule." "I have seen a well-run co-op program create lots of motivation and broaden the views of the students." C.A. Desoer, Professor Emeritus. University of California, Berkeley, Personal communication to the BEEd, February 9, 1994 exceptions. For example, the American Electronics As- sociation formed a Design to Deliver program, funded by several large corporations. In this three-yearprogram, 15 companies are working with three universities to improve the pro(luct-quality and manufacturing empha- sis of curricula and to help faculty members develop the knowledge and skills to carry out these improvements. Another significant effort toward} reforming undergradu- ate engineering education was launched by The Boeing Company in 1994 (McMasters and White, 19941. Discussion of the many elements of curriculum re- form leacis inevitably to a discussion of alternative paths to the bachelor's degree. It is not realistic to expect a single curriculum to prepare students for ~ ~ ~ engineering . . . ,. ~ . ~ practice 1mmecllate .y alter grac nation, ~ grac uate en- gineering study and research, and (3) graduate study in other fields. Instead, there is a need for a variety of options. For example, there could be three tracks to the bachelor's degree: a standard disciplinary degree, a "general engineering" degree offer- ing the flexibility for pursuit of a master's degree in engineering or another professional field,3 and a research-or~ented track that is essentially the first four years of a research doctoral program. Various co-op (work-study) versions of the first two options might entail a heavier emphasis on industrial experience while making a longer program more affordable and improving the student's motiva- tion and employment prospects. Each of the tracks should offer students the flexibility, in terms of knowledge or academic credits, to move to other tracks, and each should instill a knowledge of how to learn autonomously through exposure to distance learning and other media for obtaining continuous education. The BEEd emphasizes that a sound engineering education is just the beginning of a lifelong educational experience. Perhaps the most important thing that a student can learn during the initial engineering education experience is how to continue learning on his or her own initiative. The distinction between education and training is a crucial one; knowing how to learn autonomously is a hallmark of education. Finally, an aspect of U.S. engineering education that is often cited as desirable, but which is seldom addressed in the cur~cuTum, is the 3Frank Schowengerdt, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Colorado School of Mines, reports that the four-year general engineering degree is now the most popular option at the school, with 850 (in 1994) students majoring in an interdisci- plinary degree accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technol- ogy.

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ENGlNEERlNG EDUCATION TODAY 25 "The focus should be on employing cooperative reaming strategies and establishing classroom climates that encourage, not alienate or bore, the students. This does not mean lowered standards~uite to the contrary. I have completely changed my philoso- phy of"weeding out" students.... Now my students are reaming much more, they are enjoying reaming and are proud of their achievements (including reaming communication skills); and hardly anyone drops out or fails, because I have set the target of "zero defects" and then provided the means for all students to succeed." Edward Lumsdaine~ Dean of Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Personal communication to the BEEd, March 21, 1994 need for graduates to have a sense of the global market- place and the globalization of engineering. One factor of this need is that strong foreign competition in high- technology industries is still a relatively new phenom- enon, anti most faculty members have little direct expe- rience with it. Another factor is that ways of addressing the issue- for example, learning foreign languages and providing for long- or short-term exchange of students- tend to be time-consuming and expensive. Other mecha- nisms, such as seminars presented by foreign-born fac- ulty members (particularly those with inclustrial experi- ence) and adjunct faculty from industry on aspects of this issue, might have value. Teaching soles And Methods A wi(lesprea(1 tradition in engineering education has been the "boot camp" approach, in which professors typically have made little effort to help students over- come the formidable clemancis placer! upon them. The philosophy is that "if you are tough on them, the ones who survive have what it takes to be engineers." Thus, engineering education has trarlitionalIv been seen as a winnowina-out ,=. .. . , - - -cat - - - process. ~ ne old warning to entering students, "Look to your right and left; only one of you will graduate" is still valid. Only the most committed and competitive students survive for four years; overall retention rates for engineering programs are on the order of 65 percent (AAES, ~ 993, ~ 994~.4 Rigor ant] discipline are certainly necessary in engineering, but they are counterproductive when taken to such an extreme that many talented and capable students become alienated or simply lose interest (Seymour and Hewitt, 1994~. Static teaching methods clo not help. The current environment for engineering education tends not to foster either good teaching or effective learning. It is generally recognized that to(iay's young people, in contrast to their counterparts of a generation ago, are more oriented toward fast-paced, dynamic visual imagery. Yet engineering education often is still delivered as it was 50 years ago, by a professor standing in front of the lecture hall with a piece of chalk and a 4This is almost certainly a high estimate. It is based on a comparison of entering freshmen and graduates four years later and does not take into account freshmen with undeclared majors, students entering at later points from uncounted institutions such as two-year colleges, and other factors. More reliable data on retention do not exist.

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26 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM pointer-or, more recently, an overhead projector and relying on words and static symbols or drawings. Teaching style can do much to communicate and reveal the excitement and allure of engineering, and even the lecturer can be quite effective if he or she is a talented presenter. But the lecture-hall format provides little or no opportunity for student-teacher interac tion especially for the mentorin~. counselings and nur THE "CLASSICAL" ENGINEERING EDUCATION: METHODOLOGICAL PROS AND CONS In terms of methodology and technol- ogy, the classical engineering educa- tion consists of a teacher, blackboard, textbook, homework, and laboratory. The advantages of classical education are compulsion; credit; some adaptivity and customization; moderate attention factor; some interactivity; shared experience-friendship and misery; side channels and personal elements jokes, etc. ;and . . continuity. The disadvantages of classical education are it is paced to least common denominator, variability of teachers, it is often bonny or poorly prepared, it is only moderately adaptive, modest use of graphics and visual material, teachers are often unprepared or unavailable for new subjects, laboratories are often obsolete and too expensive, blackboard handwriting is slow, and textbooks are often insufficiently explanatory. . 1 ~ = ~ ~ ---<= ~ ~ ~ Turing that many students need. Most engineering fac- ulty know little about how students learn; research on the cognitive processes of learning is relatively new Verv r r at. _ c~ _ _ _ _ _ ~ _ _ ~ _ ~ A ~ rew engineering faculty possess any knowledge of this field. Yet it may hold promise for improving teaching and learning. For example, many believe that highly participatory "active learning" methods are more effective for stimu- lating student interest ant! learning. One approach now coming into greater use is "cooperative learning," an instructional method that involves students working in teams to accomplish a common goal, uncler conditions that involve both positive interdependence (all members must cooperate to complete the task) and group account- ability (each member is accountable for the entire final outcome). Inquiry laboratories, seminars taught by teams of teachers, and project-centered classes are other active learning strategies. Most emphasize teamwork which emulates the way engineering is actually practiced as opposed to the education of individual performers, which has been the traditional approach of engineering eciuca- t~on. The importance of teamwork as a vital component of engineering, whether in the classroom or in practice, can be dramatically enhanced by faculty teamwork in the delivery of education. The single-instructor classroom has its place, but team-teaching and shared responsibili- ties for course and curriculum development set an im- portant example. Such team-oriented methods tent! through competition, cooperation, synergy, and peer pressure to produce better teaching. Nothing has been found that can replace strong, supportive, one-on-one interaction between a student and a faculty member. But many new educational tech- nologies offer the possibility of making the delivery of engineering e(lucation more effective, more efficient, and more interesting. The potential for use of such

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY . . 27 technologies is growing ranidlv but is still largely untappecl. (The <_7 ~ I ~ average engineer in industry utilizes a higher level of supporting technology than most academics do.) Several factors have combined in recent years to improve the potential of educational technologies. First is the increase(1 availability and lowered costs of the technologies themselves, from videotape to personal computers to television satel- lite broadcasting. Data compression techniques (facilitating transmis- sion of video images), the growing national information infrastruc- ture, high-speed networks, multimedia conferencing, wireless digital communication, and handheld computer notepads herald an even more exciting range of opportunities. Seconcl, larger class sizes and a concomitant increase in demand for specialized courses suggest the potential usefulness of these technologies. Third, accompanying the growing demand is a scarcity of faculty to teach unclergraduate courses, given budget constraints and the increasing pressure on faculty to focus on securing research grants ant! conducting cutting- edge research. Fourth, it can be anticipated that the advent of the "information highway" will alter students' styles of learning in the direction of these technologies. Because the excellence and accessibility of U.S. graduate engineer- ing education are recognized around! the world, foreign nationals are very heavily represented in U.S. engineering schools. Their contribu- tions as teaching assistants and faculty are vital, but some have trouble communicating in English, and others have been accused of bringing to the classroom inappropriate cultural attitudes for example, re- garcling the roles of women and minorities (NRC, 19881. Finally, it should be noted that one of the impediments to effective teaching of engineering is that so many engineering faculty lack sufficient contact with engineering practice. in the absence of such interaction, they are at a disadvantage in conveying to their students the excitement and opportunity that exists in professional engineering practice. DlVQ[SIq 0' Students ond Fondue Demographic change and the related issue of ethnic diversity pose major challenges to engineering education. The proportion of white college-age males in the national population, the group from which engineering has traditionally drawn its recruits, is declining steadily. Half of those retiring from the workforce by 2000 will be white males, but over 70 percent of new entrants to the workforce will be women, minorities, and immigrants. During the 198Os while the U.S. minority population grew by 35 percent, the white, non-Hispanic population grew only 2 percent (Vetter, ~ 9921. At the same time, the number of

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60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 FIGURE 3-1 Engineering B.S. degrees, by race or eth- nicity and residency status, lo coo selected years, 1977-1990 (National Science Foundation, 1992, p. 64). 20,000 O 6,000 5,000 - 4,000 3'ooo 1 2,000 - FIGURE 3-2 Engineering B.S. degrees to members of racial and ethnic minorities, mono selected years, 1977-1990 (National Science Foundation, 1992, p. 64). {I 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 o 28 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM White (non-Hispanic) O Asian Black, Hispanic, Native American [I Non-resident alien Asian I Black (non-Hispanic) Hispanic ~ Native American 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 white males achieving engineering degrees has declined sharply (Figure 3- ~ ). The number of racial and ethnic minority students receiving degrees in engineering increased somewhat (luring the ~ 980s (Figure 3-2), while the number of women decliner! from its peak in 1985 (Figure 3-3~. Nevertheless except for male Asian Americans, who have made dramatic gains, none of these groups has approached full representation among engineering graduates. Toclay, women receive about 15 percent of B.S. engineering degrees, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans who together make up 27.5 percent of the college-age population receive fewer than ~ percent of such degrees (NSF, 19921. Retention (the completion of a full academic program) is a special problem for minority students in engineering educations they represent more than 15 percent of first- year engineering students, but, as Figure 3-4 shows, more than half

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 29 9,000 7,000 6,OOO - 5,000 + 4,000 3 coo --t FIGURE 3-3 Engineering B.S. degrees to women, by ~ coo race or ethnicity and residency status, selected years, 1977- ~ coo t 1990 (National Science Foun cation, 1992, p. 64). 90 80 .4 70 + 60 _ 50 ~ _ ~ ~ an ! l - 40 FIGURE 3-4 Representation30 i-| of minority and nonminori-~ ty groups in undergraduate20 -ill engineering education and~ O ~ their representation in cot-| lege age population, 1990- 1991 (Campbell, 1992b). White (non-Hispanic) O Asian Black (non-Hispanic) ~ Hispanic EM Native American ~ Non-resident alien ~ -!-~ =1~P ~ ~ 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 Ill ~ ~ ~1~' ~ ~,! i i , _ _j ~] i Nonminority Minority All Women Nonminority Minority All Men Women Women Men Men 1 % of College Age Population O % of Engineering Freshmen O % of Total Engineering Enrollment ~ % of Engineering Graduates drop out or switch to another major. For example (see Figure 3-4), minority men make up about ~ 2 percent of entering students but only about 7 percent of graduates. Recent indications are that retention is only about 35 percent for African Americans and Native Americans anti 45 percent for Hispanics, compared with roughly 65 percent for all freshmen anti nearly 100 percent for Asians (bearing in mind that retention figures probably err on the high side). Anecdotal evidence suggests that the leacling research universities are experiencing reten- tion rates for minorities that are even lower than average. The negative factors in engineering education (lescribe(1 in previous sections appear to be magnified for women and minority students,5 SThe BEEd recognizes that the experiences of (white) women and those of the various minority groups in engineering education differ considerably. These differ- ences need to be taken carefully into account when designing ameliorative actions and programs.

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30 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM who are often acutely aware of their underrepresentation and who may be even more put off than others by the boot camp atmosphere prevalent in unclergracluate engineering education (Carmichael and Sevenair, ~99~). Persistent anecdotal evidence points to discrimina- tion- mostly unintentional or cultural but occasionally intentional- against unclerrepresented groups. According to Seymour and Hewitt (1994), the high number of foreign students and teaching assistants is part of the problem, as in some cases their cultural values impede positive interaction with women and minorities.6 Apart from retention, another very important factor is K-12 preparation. Female anti minority students may be receiving the message, all through their early schooling, that a career in science or mathematics (or engineering) is not for them. Some aspects of the problem affect all students, regardless of race or gender. This issue is discussed in more detail in the section on K-! 2 preparation later in this chapter. Most engineering faculties today remain bastions of white mates, despite the changing demographics of their students and the even more rapi(lly changing demographics of the U.S. population as a whole. Although there has been an influx of non-white scholars from Asia and the Middle East, engineering faculties remain largely male. Many in the engineering community call for the engineering faculty of the future to be more diverse than that of today. "Diversity" has several different facets: diversity baser! on race, gentler, and ethnic background; diversity of background in engineering practice, including de- sign and management in industry and government; and (liversity of academic background and orientation towardteach- ing, research, and professional practice. Faculty characteristics (lo vary among institutions, reflecting in part differences in educational objectives. Nevertheless, greater faculty diversity-complemented by excellence must be a goal for all institutions, not only to encourage equal access for all students but also to expose students to a wider spectrum of views as to what engineering is and how it is practiced, as well as to familiarize them 6The BEEd, in its regional symposia, addressed the question of the large popula- tion of foreign-born students and faculty and their effect on the engineering educa- tion system and presented a range of options for action. Many participants agreed that the appropriate course is to make no changes in the current system but rather to continue to seek the best students, regardless of their national origin. Therefore, this report does not raise the topic as an important issue.

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 3 1 with the composition of the society that is served by the practice of . . englneerlng. F~{UItY Rower. System In engineering, ant! indeed across all academic disciplines, there is concern that the reward systems by which faculty performance is evaluated produce incentives that often react faculty members onto a narrowly focused career path in academe. These incentives typically create a bias favoring research over undergraduate teaching while also discouraging mobility of faculty between academe, industry, anct government. in effect, they may place a penalty on activities such as curriculum development, interactions with industry, outreach to precollege students, student advising, professional cle- velopment, and other professorial functions designed to foster a more integrated academic community and a more well-rounded educational experience. Nationwide, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the faculty reward system is the overemphasis on re- search at the expense of undergraduate teaching, which is seen at most schools to varying degrees.7 While teaching usually has a prominent place in formal state- ments of faculty review criteria, it is often weighted lightly in faculty review processes. "Buying out" of teaching obligations with research dollars (being ex- cusec! from teaching to conduct funcled research) is an . . . . . . . Increasingly common practice in many institutions, en- couraged by institutional financial pressure. This prac- tice is detrimental to the quality of engineering education when carried too far and shouict be carefully monitored. The roots of this situation lie in faculty attitudes toward teaching and in pressure from peers, academic administrators, and research funding agencies. Because many institutions today are operating with budgets that are far out of balance, faculty are expected to help make up the shortfall by securing research funcls, thus reinforcing the emphasis on research. Another force tipping the balance toward! research is that academic institutions, in making tenure and promotion decisions, generally find research quality a more straightforward "There is no fundamental dichotomy between research and teaching. Indeed, many would hold that good teaching over a career which spans 3- 4 generations of new technology is impossible for one not engaged in research." John J. McCoy, Dean of Engineering, The Catholic University of America Personal communication to BEEd, March 28, 1994 7Professor Robert Whitman, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pointed out in a letter to the BEEd that the issue is not so much "research versus teaching," (since research is part-and-parcel of graduate education) as it is "research versus engineering" (since most students do not have sufficient opportunities to work with engineers who have experience in practice).

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32 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM criterion to measure. Academe has developed accepted methods for evaluating the quality of research but has not cleveloped comparable methocIs for evaluating teaching and professional service. Recognition of this situation and its implications is growing. Many institutions are attempting to devise en c! institutionalize ways to recognize and reward effective teaching. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology's high-visibility program of internal MacVicker Faculty Fellowships is one example; another is Stanford University's Hu- manities and Sciences Dean's Awarc! for Excellence in Teaching, which includes a base salary augmentation in addition to a cash award.) Some schools have instituted a non-tenure track faculty option that does not require teachers to pursue scholarly research, but this approach is highly controversial. Changing the incentives will seriously challenge engineering faculties and academic administrators. At many institutions, a gen- eration or more of faculty members have been hired and promoted primarily on the basis of their strengths in research. Efforts to change the incentives favoring research will be forced to face the fact that many faculty members consider research to be inherently more fulfilling ant! valuable than undergraduate teaching. In addition, the continued presence of faculty unions (which even extend to postdoctoral fellows and teaching assistants) may hamper efforts to change the incentive system. Finally, it will be necessary to develop a wicier range of effective teaching assessment and evaluation meth- ocis and mechanisms. The real issue, once these imbalances are rectified, is not whether research is favored over teaching but how to tie research to teaching in the most productive way or redefine research to include teaching (Boyer, 1991) and how to provide students with a broader vision of engineering than the collective scope of their professors' particular research areas can convey. Research and teaching are not antagonis- tic, and active involvement of undergraduates in frontier research is an excellent way to broaden their vision. FlQXIbilltY end adoptability Engineering education tennis to be conservative in both its peda- gogical methods (inclucling curriculum) and its institutionalized attitu(les.8 This conservatism produces a degree of stability (perhaps inflexibility is a more apt term) that results in a relatively slow response to external stimuli. A case in point might be an overempha Perhaps the historical root of this conservatism is the responsibility for ensuring that engineering designs function safely and reliably.

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 33 sis on the production of engineering researchers, who compete for increasingly limited resources, at the expense of engineers advancing ,1 ~ ~ ~ ~ 4= me stale of engineering practice-especially in manufacturing and construction, where the need is great (White, 19911. Given the many types of changes described earlier that are imping- ing on engineering, the engineering education system needs to become much more flexible and adaptable. Establishing interdisciplinary collaborations with science and liberal arts departments and business schools, in pursuit of both research and pedagogical developments, is an approach that could be useful (see, for example, Kapoor, 19941. It is possible that engineering schools will acquire greater flexibility through more extensive interaction with other educational units. Collaboration with industry and government also "ensures the vitality and relevance of engineering programs" and helps engineering stu- dents reach out more to the society around them (ASEE, 19941. a Hew COlIQGl6IltY COLLEGIALITY AND TEACHING In a study of conditions within departments at 20 colleges and universities, Massy et al. (1994) found a high degree of collegiality being practiced in those "exemplary depart- ments" that actively support under- graduate education. The distinctive characteristics of this collegiality include an emphasis on teaching, frequent interaction, tolerance of differences, generational and workload equity, peer evaluation, and consensus decision making. Collegial organiza- tions, the authors stated, emphasize consensus, shared power, consultation, and collective responsibilities; they are communities in which status differences are de-emphasized and individuals interact as equals. K-12 Preporetlon Collegiality, or the shared sense of mission, purpose, and values among the faculty, was a more common feature of academic institutions in the past. in the post-WorId War T} era in engineering schools, this collegiality has tended to be eroded by trends such as larger institutional size; competitive grantsmanship; a loss of clarity about the role of engineering; and a narrower focus on the individual's social, political, ant! research interests (see Kerr, 1994, for example). A new collegiality in engineer- ing departments and schools which the BEEd believes is a vital element of responsible "institutional citizen- ship"-is essential if the actions and objectives of engi- neering education (e.g., the evaluation of teaching qual- ity and curriculum renewal) are to be achieved. The new collegiality will be enhanced through organizing intro- ductory courses, through professors lecturing in each other's courses not only within departments and the engineering school but across the entire university-, and through including material in one's course that is outside one's field (necessitating collegial help), along with team teaching and peer evaluation of teaching. The process of creating a successful engineering student begins early, in elementary school or even preschool. But the supply "pipe- line," reaching from kindergarten through the senior year of high

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34 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM school (K-! 2), is not producing a sufficient flow of students who are informe(1 about engineering anti who are well-prepared and moti- vated to study engineering. It is not drawing from across the full breadth of the pool of potential engineers, anti many young students do not obtain the knowledge and capabilities they need. In many cases, both female and minority students are being told (whether clirectly or inclirectly) that serious study of mathematics and science is not for them. Thus, the system is not encouraging all those who might have an aptitude for and interest in studying engineering. In contrast to most other professionals, future engineers (along with mathematicians and some scientists) tent! to make their career choice in junior high/middle school. If they are not prepared and motivated to study engineering at that point, it is likely that they never will be. Since the publication of A NationAtRisk more than a decade ago (U.S. Department of Education, ~ 983), it has been widely acknowI- eciged that U.S. secondary school students have fallen behind their counterparts in most other inclustrializec! nations in their knowledge of science and mathematics. Although average mathematics and science test scores in national assessments improved slightly cluring the 1980s, they are still well below those seen in the 1960s (National Science Board, 1991, p.141. Quantitative reasoning and problem- solving skills are particularly lacking, even in students who score well on standardize<] exams. Inaclequate mathematics and science preparation limits both the quality and the quantity of potential entrants to engineering. Many of those students who do enter engineering study are not prepared for its rigors, in terms of either knowledge or analytical skills. The result is students struggling to keep up, contributing to a high rate of attrition. In particular, inadequate preparation limits the participa- tion of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other unclerrepresentect minority groups, who lag their majority counter- parts (anc! Asian Americans) in mathematics and science prepared- ness. Over the past few years, many states have raised their standards for promotion and for high school graduation, revised teacher licensing and training practices, and improved the measurement of school performance. Other national reform efforts are being carried out. For example: . . The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has estab- lished guidelines for mathematics curricula. The National Science Teachers Association is conducting a

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 35 stucly of science curricula and has completed a science curricu- lum guide for gracles 6-12 (NSTA, 19931. The NSF has established both a Statewide Strategic Initiative (in 21 states) ant! an Urban Systemic Initiative Earmarked for the nation's 25 largest urban school districts) in an effort to transform the way U.S. schoolchildren learn about science, mathematics, and technology. The Division of Unclergracluate Education of the NSF is manag- ing ColIaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation, which bring together science and engineering faculty and education faculty to prepare future K-12 teachers. The National Research Council (NRC, 1989, 199Oa, b) has . issued several reports on mathematics curricula and teaching practices and has issued draft standards for K-!2 science educa- tion (NRC, ~ 994), which will be released in ~ 995 as a companion to the mathematics standards. Federal spending on precollege mathematics and science education has increased substantially in the past few years. According to "Spe- cial Tabulations" provicle(1 by the working group on the budget of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Education and Training (estimate as of May 1994), the fecleral government is spending $955.43 ~ million on science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at the precollege level in fiscal year ~ 994. (This represents an increase of 85.7 percent over fiscal year 1991 spending; FCCSET, 1992.) in the White House, the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Education and Training coordi- nates these activities. The main responsibility for improving the mathemat "Student-to-student contact is particu- larly effective. Some ideas: Bring demonstrations to middle schools (e.g., a solar car team). Bring middle and high school students to campus, where college students can demonstrate equipment. Give college students credit for mentoring activities in working with middle~igh school students." G. Wayne Clough, President, Georgia Institute of Technology, Personal communication to the BEEd, February 28, 1994 ics and science preparedness of students lies with the elementary and secondary schools. Together with par- ents, it is their responsibility to develop talent, encourage interest, and ensure that students persevere with math ant! science courses. Schools that fad! to offer the neces- sary courses, or that eliminate potentially capable stu- clents by applying rigid criteria that clo not allow for individual variation in abilities or background, restrict access unnecessarily. Teachers who are poorly prepared to communicate the attractions of science and engineer- ing as careers also limit the potential talent pool. It is important for elementary and secondary school teachers to understand what engineering is (as distinct from science), so that they can advise and encourage potential . . engineering students.

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36 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM However, higher education also has some responsibility for K-! 2 science, math, and "pre-engineering" education. Engineering schools cannot simply assume that an adequate supply of motivated. well 1 1 ~ prepared students will always arrive at their doorstep. Direct outreach to K-12 students is vital to their mission. University faculty and laboratories may seem remote and abstract to precollege students and teachers alike. Direct contact is the best way to dispel that remoteness and impart a realistic understanding of what engineers and engineer- ing students actually do. A few engineering schools are carrvina on .. ... ... .. . . . . ... .. . . ~ OCR for page 19
l ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 37 The BEEd believes that there are three components to technological literacy: knowledge of how objects ant! systems work, the social context within which engineering operates, and the cultural meaning of engineering. Because of the tendency for faculty to be narrowly focused, many engineering professors themselves know little about the broach field of engineering. This means that the teaching of technological literacy requires the new collegiality described above and will help bring faculty together to promote it. Continuous Edueotlon of Engineers Engineers in practice encounter two major types of change, namely, changes in the technological content of engineering knowlecige ant! in the context of professional practice. Both circumstances tend to shorten the productive career lifetimes of engineers and thereby reduce the effectiveness of industry. The first type of change, in knowle(lge content, is pre(lictable with an observable average perio of about a decacle in most fields. The second! change, in practice context (such as economic and job stability, national goals, global trade patterns, etc.), is less predictable in period but is fairly rapid. The challenge lies in the rapidity of change. Previously such change was on the time-scale of a career lifetime, whereas now and in the future many engineers will experience several change cycles over a career lifetime, each requiring the acquisition of new or updated knowI- edge (IEEE, 19951. Given the large investment of educational resources and experience engineers represent, the nation cannot afford to view them as commodities, to be replaced when they become "obsolete." It is essential that engineering professionals continue to develop their knowledge and capabilities over a lifetime of practice. This will require a commitment to lifelong learning, which needs, in turn, the support of a continuing engineering education sys- tem and the motivation to use it. "Refresher" courses, retraining, postbaccalaureate pro- fessional education, and continuing education are all viable means of minimizing the avoidable loss of engi- neers due to rapid technological obsolescence. Many private educational providers offer courses commer- cially, and the largest companies generally offer pro- grams in-house. However, continuing education oppor- tunities for engineers today are poorly integrated and not PREACHING VS. PRACTICING In a survey of industrial firms in surrounding states that was conducted by the University of Michigan College of Engineering (Atreya, 1994), 64 percent of surveyed companies said that they rank continuing education as either "high" or "medium" among their corporate priorities, but the same companies said that only about 30 percent of their professional and technical employees actually utilize continuing education opportunities. Incentives are not evident: only 5 percent of the responding companies require employees to earn continuing education credits; only 13 percent require employees to earn any other type of special certification; and 79 percent give no rewards or recognition ,~ . . . . . . tor participation In continuing education activities. Significantly, 42 percent of the managers responding said that employees "lacked a sense of perceived need or payoff for participa- tion."

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38 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM "I believe that the central issue in continuing education today is a failure to communicate availability of services to the workforce and a failure to empower engineers to make . . . . . . decisions concerns, their continuing education without seeking the ap- proval of managers. In today's business climate of severe cost control educational expenditures are often treated as "overhead" to be controlled rather than as an investment which leads to improved return on invest- ment. Lionel V. Baldwin. President, National Technological University, Personal communication to the BEEd, November 24, 1993 A VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY Carnegie Mellon University has proposed an experimental Virtual University that would encompass: 1. an interactive multimedia class- room where distance learners can participate real-time; 2. an on-line Intemet library offering programs in digital video; 3. a portable classroom consisting of wireless equipment; and 4. interactive research facilities and research on interactive technologies. This is only one example of many similar experiments now under way at U.S. engineering institutions. All such experiments recognize that other characteristics beyond these "virtual" ones are necessary to fulfill the overall . . . ~ . . ec ucatlonal mission of a university. readily available to all engineers. For example, small and medium-sized companies generally lack the resources to ~ . . . . . mount ellechve training programs, anc engineers in rural locations tend to have fewer opportunities than those located near cities. Adult or continuing education overall is said to be a $30 billion per year business larger even than the primary training enterprise. Nevertheless, continuing education and training of practicing engineers has never been a primary emphasis of the engineering education system. Although the opportunities for earning income through continuing education programs are substantial (especially since large U.S. corporations are reducing their in-house offerings in this areas, only a few of the traclitional baccalaureate institutions have pursuer! this opportunity aggressively. Engineering colleges typi- cally offer short courses aimed! at local industries. in some cases, these are televise(1 or suppliecl as videotapes for viewing at industrial sites. However, the offering ten(is not to be broad. Content is usually geared to the research proclivities of individual faculty ant! may often be quite theoretical in nature. Marketing of these courses to the potential audiences is uneven. The incentives for attending (where they exist at all) are usually tier! to company advancement rather than to the specific appli- cability of the knowledge gained. No continuing education programs are subject to accreditation (nor does the BEEd call for that). Indeed, no standards currently exist for these offerings. The question is, then, by what means can the content and quality of these offerings be controlled, and how can their value be increased and their utilization expancled? Universities have a critical role to play. it is vital to instill in engineering students both the skills neecied to acquire continuous learning from vari- ous sources beyond the period of formal schooling and an understan(ling of the necessity for (loin" so. This will involve instilling an awareness of the sources of "dis- tance learning" ant} exposing students to the mecha- nisms anti techniques employed in accessing on-line instructional services of various kinds, both at home and at the work site. Concepts such as Carnegie Mellon's Virtual University (see box this page) and the Virtual

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ENGINEERING EDUCATION TODAY 39 Online University9 can be useful. Seminars presented by industrial representatives, such as adjunct professors, on their own experiences with continuous education and the-value they have fount! in it could be quite effective as well. 9Established in 1994 by a group of educators who met on the Internet, Virtual Online University will begin its first term in spring 1995 with an initial on-line offering of 40-60 courses. Courses will meet regularly and include a combination of readings, exams, and research projects.