Strengthening The Performance Of Engineering And Technology Educators Across The Disciplines (Speed)
J. P. Mohsen
2009 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Preamble For the past century, many organizations have published their visions of what the technological needs will be in the future for the United States and how the engineering profession might change to meet those needs. The Engineer of 2020, released by the National Academy of Engineering in 2004, is a good example of the new vision. Engineering and technology departments regularly adapt to the changing landscape so that their graduates will possess relevant skills and knowledge vital to
... ential employers. From an educational perspective, this will involve the development of new pedagogical approaches, the design of tailored programs and courses, novel ways to deliver them, etc. Examples of this include collaborative learning, cross-disciplinary courses, globally distributed project teams, and new forms of distance learning. While a long history illustrates a changing engineering and technology curriculum to meet evolving technological needs, there has also been a long-standing call to strengthen engineering and technology educators' capabilities and preparation to perform the task of educating students. This latter call, however, has remained virtually unanswered for more than a century despite many calls, even from ASEE itself. It is time for US engineering and technology programs to act on this need and to extend faculty expertise with formalized professional development in education. Many countries around the world have already successfully introduced professional development programs for engineering faculty teaching in higher education. We should delay no further. Vision Our vision is simple: Implement a professional development program to Strengthen the Performance of Engineering and Technology Educators Across the Disciplines (SPEED). This program will help new tenuretrack engineering and technology faculty be better prepared to take on their educational mission. In its simplest form, new tenure-track faculty would successfully complete a program that will supplement and strengthen their capability to use essential skills and knowledge in the education-related aspects of their position. Implementation The SPEED program would typically last one or more years and would occur early-on during a faculty member's tenure track appointment. Individual institutions would retain flexibility in implementing the program. They would not necessarily need to have the same program structure and might utilize national workshops, educational classes, on-line offerings, mentor circles, etc. Content While the SPEED program would not necessarily be one standardized program, any SPEED program would contain three common critical elements: (1) approval of a nationally recognized society, such as ASEE, (2) inclusion of educational theory, practice, and scholarly activities with clear criteria and milestones, (3) flexibility in implementation across a variety of university administrative structures and cultures.