Objective 4:  Institutionalization
 

Each partner institution will focus on the management of change at the department level and will formally document the processes associated with institutionalization on their campus. Furthermore, two new partners will demonstrate the migration from traditional engineering curricula to Foundation Coalition–based curricula more quickly and at less cost than the original partner institutions.

Individual departments are key to our goal of widespread institutionalization. The process by which we will reach that goal is to focus, Coalition-wide, on the engineering departments. In Years 1–5, the degree of institutionalization has varied across departments and across campuses. On one campus, for example, mechanical engineering may be pushing for change, whereas at another the electrical engineering faculty may be the most supportive and the mechanical engineering the most resistant. Our goal, of course, is for every student in every program to be affected by Foundation Coalition (FC) reforms.

As part of the Year-4 Report to the National Science Foundation (NSF), we provided curriculum listings (see Sample Listing in Figure 1) that demonstrated how the FC curriculum changes were affecting departments on our campuses. The Year-4 Review Team felt that a schematic representation would be more meaningful as we look toward the future, and we worked together during the review to identify a general format for the presentation of this vision. Figure 2 represents a sample of such a representation. It provides an overview of the material required by a given major on a given campus, identifying the components that have been directly impacted by the FC. We have identified departments on each campus that will take the lead in demonstrating, on their campus and across the Coalition, how their curriculum will be modified as a result of the FC. Curriculum maps for these programs are found in Appendix F and include aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, civil, chemical, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical nuclear, ocean, petroleum, and radiological health engineering programs.

Figure 1: Sample Curriculum Listing as Submitted in the Year-4 Report to NSF

Department xxx, University yyy

Courses that have been replaced or extensively modified in terms of both content and pedagogy, as of spring 1997, are indicated by dark shading. Courses that will be replaced or extensively modified in terms of both content and pedagogy, as of spring 1998, are indicated as by lighter shading.

Pre-calculus–ready Freshman Year

FALL SPRING
ENGL 104 3 Directed Elective 3
ENGR 189* Intro to Engineering 1 ENGR IA* Problems, Programs 2
CHEM 107 Chemistry for Engineers 4 ENGR IB* Problems, Graphics 1
MATH 150 Engineering Pre-calculus I 4 MATH 151 Engineering Math I 4
Directed Elective 3 PHYS 1* Engineering Physics I 3
Directed Elective 3
KINE 199 1 KINE 199 1

*Students may opt to take in 96/97 and 97/98, targeted to be required in 98/99.

Students in this option take a 3d semester to finish the courses shown in the SPRING semester for calculus-ready freshmen.

Calculus-ready Freshman Year

FALL SPRING
ENGL 1 Comp & Rhetoric 2 CHEM 107 Chemistry for Engineers 4
ENGR IA* Problems, Programs 2 ENGR IIA* Problems, Conservation 1
ENGR IB* Problems, Graphics 1 ENGR IIB* Visualization, Design 1
MATH 151 Engineering Math I 4 MATH 152 Engineering Math II 4
PHYS 1* Engineering Physics I 3 PHYS II* Engineering Physics II 3
Directed Elective 3 ENGL 2 Comp & Tech Writing 2
KINE 199 1 KINE 199 1

* Students may opt to take in 96/97 and 97/98, targeted to be required in 98/99.

Sophomore Year

FALL SPRING
STAT 226 ME Statistics 2 Directed Elective 3
ENGR 211* Conservation Principles I 3 ENGR 213* Properties of Matter 3
ENGR 212* Conservation and Modeling 3 ENGR 214* Continuous Media 3
MATH 251 Engineering Math III 3 ENGR 215* Electrical Properties II 3
ENGL 3 Tech Writing 1 MATH 308 Differential Equations 3
Directed Elective 3 ENGL 4 Tech Writing 1
KINE 199 1 KINE 199 1

* Students may opt to take in 96/97 and required in 97/98.

Junior Year

FALL SPRING
AERO 304 Strength of Materials 3 MEEN 310 Intro to Mfg Sys 3
MEEN 340 Structure and Prop of Matrl. 4 MEEN 328 Thermodynamics 3
MEEN 357 Engr Anal for ME 3 MEEN 334 Mech Sys I 4
MEEN 213 Engr Dynamics 3 Statistics 2
Directed Elective 3 MEEN 344/345 Fluid Mechanics 4
Directed Elective 3 Engr Econ 3

Senior Year

FALL SPRING
MEEN 445 Mech Engr Design II 3 MEEN 404 Engineering Lab 2
MEEN 461/464 Heat Transfer 4 MEEN 446 Mech Engr Design III 3
MEEN 335 Mech Sys II 3 Directed Elective 3
Technical Elective 3 Directed Elective 3
ENGR 482 Engineering Ethics 3 Technical Elective 3
Directed Elective 3 Technical Elective 3
16 17

Beginning in Year 6, the FC will sponsor discipline-specific workshops that bring the department faculty together across the Coalition. The success on one campus in electrical engineering, for example, may address areas of concern at another that have prevented a total curriculum revision based on FC reforms.

Institutionalization, however, implies that not only have the curricular changes developed by the Foundation Coalition been adopted by the institution but also that the processes associated with responsive curriculum modification are understood and accepted at that institution. As each partner campus transitions from their existing courses to a responsive FC curriculum that promotes the development of inclusive learning communities, the individual steps within this process must be recorded. The ability to document the issues involved in curriculum change, including the stages that a campus goes through during a change of its curriculum and the obstacles confronted by that campus during the change, is of tremendous value to other schools contemplating change at their own institution.

Recognizing the importance of this documentation process, which allows us to truly understand the issues associated with institutionalization, we began working with Dr. Michael Abelson of Texas A&M University (TAMU) in Years 4 and 5. Dr. Abelson worked directly with two of our campuses (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and TAMU), documenting the processes that took place on each campus during Years 1 through 5 with respect to the FC program. During Years 6 through 10, the Foundation Coalition will formally document the processes associated with institutionalization on all partner campuses. These individual processes will then be examined at a national level, identifying common themes and circumstances. A combination of these individual campus results will allow the FC to identify the basic principles associated with the institutionalization process that are common to curriculum-change initiatives on any campus. Coordinating this and other institutionalization activities Coalition-wide will be the FC Institutionalization Director. Duties of that individual are detailed in Section 5.

Finally, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University of Wisconsin play a unique role in Years 6–10 with respect to institutionalization. These campuses will demonstrate the migration from traditional engineering curricula to FC-based curricula more quickly and at less cost than the original partner institutions. Comparisons of the change process that took place on these campuses, with those at the original partner campuses will prove insightful and valuable to the FC and to the entire engineering education community.

For information or questions, contact
Jeffrey E. Froyd