Prototype to Production: Processes and Conditions for Preparing the Engineer of 2020

PERIOD:

Feb 01, 2006

TO

Jan 31, 2009
Funding Agency
National Science Foundation
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Like the companion P360 study, the Prototype-to-Production study (P2P) seeks to identify the conditions that support student achievement of key learning outcomes needed for success in the engineering workplace. Our research team is assessing the current capacity of undergraduate engineering programs to prepare engineers for the engineering workplace of the near future through a national survey of engineering students, recent graduates, faculty, and administrators from programs in seven engineering disciplines across 30 institutions, including the P360 case study institutions. In addition, the study collected data from students enrolled in pre-engineering programs in 15 two-year institutions. Studying both two- and four-year student populations is enabling us to understand different pathways to a four-year engineering degree and to explore if and how different aspects of engineering education may influence students' achievement and movement along their pathway, as well as how gender and race/ethnicity may influence this movement. Data analyses focus in several areas. Our analyses are providing a portrait of undergraduate engineering education in the U.S. to reveal the current levels of alignment between engineering program goals and the attributes specified in The Engineer of 2020. In addition, we are identifying an array of institutional and program-level influences, as well as educational experiences that promote students’ achievement with regard to three focal learning outcomes critical to engineering practice: design and problem solving, interdisciplinary competence, and contextual competence. Our goal is to identify supportive institutional and program conditions, and effective learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, for all students as well as any that may be particularly important for women and historically underrepresented students.

Primary Investigator(s)

Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education; Professor, School of Education; Professor, College of Engineering

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