Engineering and Liberal Education
Presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
January 21, 2010, Washington, DC
- Click for the slides (pdf)
- Click for transcript of Doug Klein's introduction (pdf)
- Click for the LEAP learning outcomes and ABET (a)-(k) learning outcomes, side-by-side (pdf)
What is, and what should be the relationship between liberal education and engineering education? The results of a sequence of symposia on Engineering and Liberal Education will provide insights (wit), examples (will), and challenges (wallet) in efforts to integrate the two. Representatives of five institutions which have participated in these symposia - , Dartmouth, Hope, Lafayette, Smith and Union Colleges - will discuss different aspects of integrating engineering, technology and the traditional liberal arts, including discussion of the rationale and methods for making these connections. While the five colleges all have engineering programs, the discussion is intended to address the relationship between liberal and professional education in a broader context.
Doug Klein from Union College will begin with a brief review of the key concepts and ideas that have come out of the symposia discussions and compare the ABET and LEAP learning outcomes, pointing out the similarities and the differences, and will motivate a discussion of why engineering education and liberal education have much to offer one another and why the increase in breadth on both sides is important.
John Krupczak of Hope College will review his efforts to identify, explore and develop a few models of technological literacy courses that could be put into widespread use. His work includes defining learning outcomes, identifying courses on technology that promote integrative forms of learning, and creating a clearinghouse of course outlines and resource materials.
Jenn Stroud Rossmann of Lafayette College will talk about her own courses for liberal arts students, including courses team-taught with faculty from the liberal arts. For example, she will discuss her sophomore-level seminar in The Art and Science of Flow Visualization that exposes students to the science of fluid mechanics, to flow visualization techniques, and to the photographic methods needed to create effective images that are successful both scientifically and artistically.
Cherrice Traver of Union College will discuss integration examples that include general education courses, paired courses, international projects and team taught courses on several topics. Some assessment results that illustrate the learning outcomes and some challenges will also be presented.
Drew Guswa of Smith College will speak to how the presence of engineering has influenced and affected education in the liberal arts. Examples include assessment, first-year advising, and senior capstone courses.
There will be ample time for discussion.