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5 a cell to Nction The BEEd believes that the time for discrete, disconnected reac- tions to the forces and conditions shaping engineering education is past. The BEEd calls for engineering educators to work together nationally to improve the engineering education system. That may mean redesigning some aspects of the system. It will mean improving the function of each element of the system and integrating it- that is, bringing the various elements into better balance with each other. Perhaps most important, it will mean building into engineering education-especially at the institutional level- the capacity to adapt flexibly to rapid and continuous changes in technology (both indus- trial and educational) in the economy (global, national, and regional), in student demographics, in industrial demand, and in national priori- ties. Indeed, some of those changes will be brought about through changes in engineering education itself. if substantial and necessary change is to occur throughout the engineering education system, performance evaluation and feedback are needed on the extent to which new engineers meet the needs of society in the twenty-first century that is, on how well they satisfy the vision outlined in Chapter 2 (and summarized in Table 1-~. Feedback also is needed on the extent to which engineering education is meeting the needs of the practicing engineers in the twenty-first century. Evaluation of the characteristics and responsiveness of the engi- neering education system itself is needed in order to create a more flexible system capable of responding effectively to changing needs and circumstances. The system, at the level of individual schools and departments of engineering, must have a strong capacity for self 44
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A CALL TO ACTION 45 evaluation and adaptation and a willingness to undergo such changes. The effectiveness of the system will hinge on the willingness of every institution and every faculty member to listen; to be aware; to shape as well as respond to change; and to alter their collective outlook, programs, and approaches accordingly. it will also depend on the ability of the engineering accrediting organizations (the Accreditation Bo arc} for Engineering ant! Technology in particular) to develop measurable performance- or output-oriented accreditation criteria that encourage such changes. Engineering educators must strive for fiex- ibility and adaptability in everything they do as educators. Therefore, given the decentralizes] and diversified nature of the engineering educational system, it is essentialfor each engineering institution to update itself within the context of an institutionally shared vision of the overall system and its goals~ concept best expressed by the phrase "think globally, act locally." Such an under- taking will involve certain actions common to all schools; other actions will clepend on the specific character en c} mission of the individual school and will be identified through self-assessment and collective discussion of the institution's goals en c! areas requiring change. Engineering schools are the core units of the system, but there are also essential actions that must be taken by inclustry, government, accreditation bodies, and the professional societies, either alone or in conjunction with the academic and other sectors. Attaining the vision will require coorclinated action across the entire system. acT offs FOR YOU INS.l'UIlONS Conduct Institutlonol SeIf-ossessment As a first step, each engineering institution (at the school and department level' should undergo a process of self-assessment and self-evaluation from the standpoint of the vision and goals enunciated in this report. This process should be a collegial one involving participation that is as broad as possible among administrators, faculty at all levels (including faculty from other schools or colleges in the institution), selected students, alumni and alumnae, and major em- ployers of the gracluates. An effort should be ma(le to define a "profile" of the institution and its characteristics and then to discuss the actions escribed below in the context of that profile. ideally, the output of this self-assessment should be a consensus document in the form of a strategic plan or the equivalent, which is published and circulated within the institution. For an example of such a document, see
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46 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Long Range Plan for the School of Engineering, ~ 994-] 998 (MTT, ~ 9941. Subsequently, administrators and faculty throughout the institu- tion should monitor on a continuing basis the implementation of the action plan vis-a-vis the specific elements of the vision and call to action presented in this report. Feedback from industry and from graduates (the "customers" of the engineering education enterprise) should be solicited as input to that monitoring function. Redress Imbolontes In the Fecund Incentive System Following the institutional self-assessment, it may be anticipated that one of the highest priorities will be to redress imbalances in the faculty incentive system, particularly in research universities. ~ This will likely entail the following: Align the faculty reward system more fully with the total mission and purpose of the institution. The reward system at each institution across the existing system must ensure a proper balance among ~· ~· 1 ~· 1 , · ·, · T - 1 1 teaching, research, service, and professional activities. In assessing intellectual attainment ant! creativity of faculty, Ernest Boyer, in Scholarship Reconsidered (Boyer, 1991), urges that the quality of scholarship be assessed over four areas of activity: ~ ~ ~ scholarship of discovery (commonly caller! research), (2) scholarship of integration (synthesis within and across clisciplines), (3) scholarship of applica- tion (professional use of knowledge), and (4) scholarship of teaching (transformation and communication of knowledge). Institutions shouIct examine their promotion and tenure policies to ensure that appropriate weight is given to each area in which there is documented evicience of achievement and that the activity of faculty is balanced over a career path. Expand the working definition of scholarship to include "peda- gogy" (research and development on teaching methods and curricu- lum development), and redefine "publications" to include formal curriculum model development, multimedia teaching approaches, and the creation of tutorial modules. Expand the definition of creative research activity to incorporate measures of industrial relevance (e.g., technology transfers in as- sessing faculty performance. Develop and/or monitor and adopt criteria and practices for the evaluation of teaching effectiveness. The BEEd notes, as an example, iWhile the actions described under this heading are directed toward research universities and other doctoral-degree-granting institutions, there is a clear trend among comprehensive universities to place more emphasis on research as well.
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A CALL TO ACTION 47 the interesting pilot project being conducted by the American Associa- tion for Higher Education on peer review of teaching (AAHE, ~ 9941. The methods must, however, avoid attempts to treat evaluation too quantitatively, as merely the results of written testing programs or numerical student evaluations.2 Improve Teething Methods end ?re~tices . Improve teaching methods by exploring and experimenting with such techniques as active (participatory) learning, expanded use of educational technology, increased faculty awareness of cognitive science findings, cooperative learning, peer teaching, team teaching, case studies, and "competency-based" (i.e., involving demonstration of integrates! skill and knowledge) assessment of students' knowledge. Ways could be found to reward faculty for successful implementation of alternative styles of delivery. Provide training (or access to training) in teaching skills for academic-track Ph.D.s and faculty recruits, as well as refresher train- ing for more senior faculty. For foreign-born teaching assistants and faculty, this could include language and cultural "sensitivity" training. Find creative ways to utilize more engineers from industry in teaching, especially teaching of undergraduates. f Ensure greater participation by faculty (as opposed to teaching assistants) in teaching undergraduates, and emphasize student-fac- ul~y interaction. For imparting motivation and "connectedness" to the educational experience, nothing can replace direct personal contact with a respected faculty mentor a fact that must be kept in mind as "distance learning" receives greater emphasis. Strive to create a positive, supportive climate for engineering students by emphasizing success and personal encouragement rather than the "weeding-out" approach that has often been taken in the past. Establish mechanisms to provide faculty members with greater exposure to engineering practice, such as: recognizing relevant types of consulting in promotion and tenure evaluations; providing industrial sabbaticals; · encouraging joint research with industry colleagues and adjunct faculty; and 2More useful than the standard student evaluation of teachers would be evaluations based on surveys of students five years beyond graduation who are actively involved in their careers. Such evaluations would likely be more objective and reliable than those made by current students.
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48 ENGINEERING ED UCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM · recognizing the study of engineering practice as bona fide research. "It is time for the four-year engineer- ing degree to join the slide rule, log tables, the French curve, and ammo- nia-reeking blueprints as artifacts of the past." (Augustine, 1994b) . Ensure Thot the Curriculum Supports the Instik~tlon's Strotegic Plon BEEd members share the growing recognition that four years is no longer enough time for the formal education of an engineer about to enter professional practice. Schools must consider and implement, as ap- propriate, alternative paths to the undergraduate tle- gree, including: · a"general engineering" degree; three- or four-year pre-engineering programs leading into a graduate engineering degree program; · a cooperative (i.e., work-study) degree; and a five-year bachelor's degree. Again, these are not prescriptions but suggestions to be considered in the context of each institution's local circumstances. Considler and implement, as appropriate, alternative paths to graduate degrees, including: a practice-oriented master's degree; a combined bachelor's/master's degree; · a Ph.D. or D.Eng. with an industrial research and development track; and · a practice-oriented doctorate. Any reforms of graduate engineering education should be addressed as integral parts of the combined B.S./M.S. and graduate-track pre . . engineering programs. Develop practice-oriented graduate study modules aimed at engi neers in practice. Such modules could be developed by joint indus- try/faculty teams. They might consist of two, three, or four courses and would be aimed at meeting contemporary practice or research needs. They would not result in a graduate degree but could be credited toward such degrees, if pursued, at a later time. Pursue appropriate undergraduate curricular reform, including the following, for example: · Ensure early exposure to engineering practice and a sense of the role of engineers in society.
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A CALL TO ACTION 49 · Provide for more-extensive exposure to hands-on, industrial practice aspects, team work, anti creative (design. · Ensure that the curriculum reflects current and emerging technol- ogy and tools (e.g., modeling anti simulation, finite element analysis, risk analysis). · Emphasize interdisciplinary education and "systems" thinking. · Monitor ongoing experiments in curricular reform (e.g., engi- neering education coalitions), and implement aspects pertinent to the institution, ensuring continued strong grounding in engi- neering science and math. · Include requirements for coursework in business and in pro- grams clearing with science, technology, anti society (or the . equivalent), emphasizing sustainable (levelopment of the envi- ronment. Review non-engineering course requirements, including liberal arts, with a view toward improving the communication skills of engineers; broadening their horizons; anti preparing them to be more effective professionals, citizens, and leaders. · Experiment with ways to inject into the curriculum some expo- sure to the international aspects of industrial competition and technology development (e.g., student exchanges, seminars by foreign and in(lustry adjunct faculty, use of foreign examples in teaching). · Instill in students a desire for continuous ant! lifelong learning to promote professional achievement and personal enrichment. Expond Beneflele! Interoctlons and Outreoch Pursue diversity of the student body by: . . improving access, that is, ensuring that all who could benefit from an engineering education are prepared to obtain and can obtain one; conducting an institutional self-assessment of the diversity of the student body and campus climate to identify needed corrective actions; · taking steps to create a positive, supportive climate that ensures racial, gentler, and ethnic diversity among all engineering stu- clents (including the creation of advisory services); · establishing formal commitments ant! incentives to bring the demographic diversity of the faculty ant! student bocly into balance with each other; and · improving the articulation with community colleges and provid . . . ers 0 conning ec ucat~on.
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so ENGINEERING ED UCAT1ON: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM The pursuit of diversity must be accompanied by a continuer} com- mitment to excellence in engineering education. Improve faculty diversity. Institutions should move toward the following self-imposed goals, with the recognition that the appropri- ate mix of faculty characteristics will differ for institutions of different mission: . Achieve greater diversity of race, gentler, ethnic background, and age by altering the mix of faculty characteristics through self-initiatecl actions by department heads, cleans, and univer- sity administrators; and · Employ on the faculty more engineers from private industry and government who have engineering design experience and man- agement experience and who have demonstrated good teaching abilities. Strive to develop a "new col:legiality"-a shared sense of mission and purpose that will better integrate both the faculty and the process of engineering education. An effective way to do this is for the faculty to collaborate in cleveloping lower-clivision courses in engineering. Undertaking the self-assessment called for earlier also will promote collegiality. Establish/improve coordination with the rest of the university- for example, to consider holistically the undergraduate program of all students. One goal should be to ensure that non-engineering un(ier- gracluates obtain a better understanding of engineering and technol- ogy through one or more survey courses. OTHER POSSIBLE Nc1 IONS FOR COllSIDER~T10~1 actions to be Undertaken by Institutlons Each engineering education institution must identify and under- take actions necessary to update its practices and outlook in accor- dance with the vision describe earlier and with its own strategic plan developecl through self-assessment ant! self-evaluation. Following are examples of actions that may be appropriate for some schools. The BEEd emphasizes that this list is by no means all-inclusive. Specialize the institution's program offerings to focus available resources, building on established strengths to maintain excellence and maximize cost-effectiveness in those areas. Forthright strategic planning will be needed. Collaboration with other academic institu- tions for (livi(ling up responsibilities or for sharing of equipment and facilities will grow more important. Collaborations with private
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A CALL TO ACTION l 51 industry and government agencies will help to identify the optimal "profile" of each institution (PCAST, 19921. Consider alternatives to tenure such as fixed-year contracts for all faculty. Provide time for faculty professional development, emphasizing participation in collaborative curriculum development efforts and major industrial and government research projects of a cross-disci- plinary nature. Give credit for active participation in professional . . socletles. Document excellent teaching. Develop written profiles of exem- plary teachers and case studies of successful experiments with inno vative teaching methods. Especially for schools in urban or industrialized areas, develop cadres of part-time faculty from among practitioners, or establish a new track of "co-op faculty" slots that would be filled full-time on a revolving basis, perhaps a quarter at a time, by industry practitioners. Employ early retirees from industry as regular full-time faculty, especially in manufacturing and design areas. (Tt should be noted, however, that not all industry professionals will be good teachers.) Develop curricular models (and instructional modules) from inter- disciplinary building-blocks perhaps in collaboration with other engineering schools, and consider the possibility of "modularizing" the curriculum for greater flexibility. Become more international in orientation and programs. Respond to state or regional efforts to increase foreign trade and to the needs of the often large contingent of foreign students. Formally recognize the pursuit of technological literacy among the generalpopulation as part of the school's mission. To that end, actions might include the following: · Require all non-engineering undergraduates in the institution, including science and math education majors, to take one or two survey courses on engineering and technology. · Establish, through statewide consortia, centers where K-12 teachers could acquire in-service training on teaching tools and topics in support of technological literacy. · Conduct a pre-service "summer school" for college students majoring in science or math education. Establish mechanisms by which some engineering graduates would teach K-12; one route might be as visiting ("per diem") teachers in exchange for accelerated acquisition of a teaching . certificate. · To the extent possible, involve parents in the K-12 programs.
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52 ENGINEERING EDUCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM Recognize the institution's responsibility for improving K-12 science, math, and "pre-engineering" education, especially with a view to quantitative reasoning and problem-solving skills. Actions might include the following: · Provide on-campus tutorials for K-12 teachers in the effective use of computer-based learning technologies. · Provide "packaged" laboratory projects that can be used in the K-12 classroom. · Encourage engineering faculty to establish partnerships with K-12 teachers. · Encourage faculty to establish mentoring relationships with middles and high-school teachers and students, perhaps utiliz- ing electronic networking. Action to be Undertaken by Industry The BEEd urges companies to consider the following possible actions: - Remove barriers and provide incentives to engineers to pursue continuing technical education. Adopt a sabbatical system to reward employees with continuing education options, ant! encourage them to pursue these options without fear of adverse career implications. Change the corporate reward structure to accommodate releasing professionals to teach in universities for a limited period of time. Encourage engineering staccato participate in engineering educa- tion development activities such as those conducted by the Accredi- tation EJoardfor Engineering and Technology, American Societyfor Engineering Education, and engineering school advisory boards. Fund fellowship programs and scholarships for women and mi- nority engineering students. Make available a larger number and range of summer internships, particuZarZy for undergraduates. FundfacultyfeZZowships, internships, and adjunct professorships. Provide engineering instructional materials to K-12 schools, and encourage professionals to partner with K-12 teachers in providing hands-on engineering experiences for students. On their own initiative, successful graduates should contact their professors and departments with an offer to speak to engineering student groups regarding their persona, career experience in indus- try.
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A CALL TO ACTION 53 Colons to be Undertaken by ?rofesslonel Socletles . . . . The Engineering Deans' Council or other appropriate group should continue working cooperatively with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in its reassessment of accreditation criteria in accordance with the types of changes suggester! in this report and implementecl in response to current and future needs in engineering education. In addition to rewarding excellence in research, societies should place emphasis on honoring faculty excellence in education. Although it is recognized that the societies compete, to some extent, with universities and other providers of continuing engineering edu .. .. . . .. . cation, this IS nevertheless an ObVlOUS area in which societies can collaborate with universities, to the mutual advantage of all partici- pants. The societies should consider holding more education sessions at technical conferences. Engineering societies can do much to assist universities in recruit- ing engineering students, especially through effective information dissemination about the nature and appeal of engineering. (Engineers' Week, held in February of each year, is an excellent example.) Engineering societies can encourage their members to partner with K-12 teachers in providing hands-on engineering experiences to students. Retlons to be Undertaken by Govemment NSF should take steps to disseminate and implement the results of the engineering education coalitions on a systemwide, evolutionary basis as they become available. Resulting curriculum modification and application efforts at various institutions should be monitored and reported on a nationwide basis, perhaps through the National Engi- neering Education Delivery System, as it becomes established. NSF could expand its existing Course and Curriculum Develop- ment program, which works to develop teaching tools for use by . . . engineering eclucators. NSF could fund U.S. faculty members to review foreign emerging technology in theirfield and report in published papers and lectures. actions to be Undertaken by Govemment-Industry-University Cooperotives A coalition of university and industrial organizations, with federal coordination and funding, should develop multimedia networks on which continuing education courses can be made more widely avail
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54 ENGINEERING ED UCATION: DESIGNING AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM able on live/interactive television or on videotape. The National Engineering Education Delivery System is one such network that shouIcl be wi(lely supportecl. Develop a nationwide instructional television networkfor under- graduate instruction. The mode! for this concept is the National Technological University, which is clirected at practicing engineers. Such a network would! be an expanded version of regional or inter- campus television networks now in place in Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, and elsewhere. A variety of interinstitutional issues such as copyright ant} compensation would have to be resolved. Establish an on-line electronic library of documents that contains a number of one-on-one tutorials, or "learning modules," for use by engineers anti students. This "living electronic handbook" should be made available through the National Engineering Education Delivery System. Colons to be Undertaken by the Ncerediting Futhority The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology should adopt, whenever possible, measurable performance- or output-ori- ented accreditation criteria for engineering programs. This means, in general, placing greater emphasis on the quality of graduates and of research than on inputs (i.e., the number of students and faculty and the amount of financial support for research and education). Betlons to be Undertaken by Other Groups of the Enginecrlog Communley Representatives of the engineering community, perhaps convened through the Engineering Deans' Council, should explore educational innovations, initiatives, and practices in other countries that appear to be effective in producing high-quality engineers, and should report these widely. The engineering education community, perhaps through the Na- tional Research Council, should proactively support ongoing efforts to reform K-12 science and mathematics at the national, state, and local levels. A task force should be established, perhaps through the National Research Council, to examine the college curricula of education students who are planning to teach K-12 math and science from the standpoint of technological iliteracy and the presentation of engineer- ing awareness and examples of engineering achievements. An effort should be made to "re-invent" many undergraduate science courses
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A CALL TO ACTION 5s for K-6 teachers. The task force might even design one or more textbooks to introduce engineering and technology to K-12 students. EPILOGUE The BEEd is well aware that major changes in large, decentralized systems such as the engineering education system seldom take place in direct response to a single stimulus such as this report. Rather, such changes usually reflect a gradual shifting of opinions, attitudes, and practices arising from a recognition and clearer understanding of new external conditions and concomitant new internal needs and empha- ses. The Beed believes that such a change is occurring in engineering education indeed, at some places in the system it is well under way, and recently a number of authoritative reports have urged changes similar to those that the board recommends. The BEEd hopes that a special contribution of this report, based on discussions with a very broad cross-section of the engineering community, will be to provide a clearer view of the specific areas where change is needed and to suggest workable mechanisms for achieving positive change. However, the BEEd's work necessarily has had a finite scope and duration. The real work of implementing needed changes in the engineering education system is both the individual and collective responsibility of the multiple constituencies whose concern is engi- neering education: academic administrators and faculty members, government policy makers and agency program managers, profes- sional society leaders, and industrial leaders. The work must continue over time. It will require a sustained commitment, together with self- assessment and the will to continue adapting to new circumstances. The education of this nation's engineers deserves no less.
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