partner institution will systematically document the design,
development, and implementation of inclusive learning communities
on their campus. They will also assess of the impact of inclusive
learning communities on the engineering educational experiences
from the standpoint of both students and faculty.
An unexpected by-product
of our Year 15 curriculum models was the creation of
learning communities within the Foundation Coalition (FC)
courses. Students joined each other and with faculty to meet
the challenges posed by the new curriculum. We consider the
development of these learning communities to be one of our
finest achievements during our first five years. As a result,
we are determined to provide the benefits associated with
belonging to a learning community to all students and in a
formal way, hence the term "inclusive learning communities."
We have defined inclusive
learning communities (ILCs) to be "students, faculty,
and employers with common interests who work as partners to
improve the engineering educational experience." We are
envisioning defined cohorts of students and teachers working
in a structured environment with formal industry participation.
This experience spans multiple terms and multiple courses,
each term with identifiable physical space devoted to the
endeavor. There is a focus on the value of diversity as it
relates to the engineering enterprise and the value of assessment
and evaluation as it relates to continuous personal and professional
The University of Wisconsin
(UW) will take on a leadership role in our initial efforts
related to the formal establishment of inclusive learning
communities across the Coalition. Just as we took advantage
of existing innovations at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
(RHIT) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) as we began Year
One, we will take advantage of UWs expertise in this
area. There currently exist four resources at UW upon which
we will be able to draw: the UW Center for Creating
a Collaborative Learning Environment, the Freshman Learning
Communities Program that was established through the TRP funds,
the Bradley Learning Community in the Department of Liberal
Studies, and the College of Engineering Learning Center.
In addition to the actual
construction of inclusive learning communities on each campus,
individual institutions will also focus on a number of related
activities. While the complete list of partner activities
that are classified as supporting inclusive learning communities
is quite large, a representative sample of these activities
is provided below.
University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth and TAMU will focus on conducting faculty-oriented
workshops associated with various ILC-related topics.
RHIT will direct its
attentions towards the role technology can play in fostering
UA and TAMU Kingsville
are in a unique position to explore the benefits of ILCs
with respect to specific minority populations since the
University of Alabama College of Engineering ranks in
the top ten nationally with respect to percentage of African-American
students (for a non-HCBU institution) and TAMU Kingsville
is a majority Hispanic institution. Characteristics of
ILCs involving these populations will be explored on each
of these campuses.
Arizona State University
(ASU) will focus their ILC design on its extremely diverse
student population, on the use of virtual ILCs, and on
ways to include Maricopa Community College System students
who will ultimately transfer to ASU.
Last updated: October 24, 1998.