ENE Memo: July 2, 2012

From the Head: 7/2

The Year Ahead: Important Changes to Higher Education Closer to Home 

Continuing with the theme of the national debate about possible reform and change in higher education, closer to home the Indiana General Assembly recently passed two bills that are likely to have a significant impact on our engineering programs at Purdue going forward.   

The first is Senate Bill 0182, State educational institutions; credit transfers.

Quoting from the General Assembly's official web page, this bill "[r]equires the commission for higher education to create a common course numbering system, into which each state educational institution shall map its own course numbers, for courses in the core transfer library. Requires state educational institutions to create a statewide transfer general education core to be implemented by May 15, 2013. Provides that an individual who holds an associate degree is considered to have met at least 30 semester credit hours of the general education requirements for a bachelor's degree. Requires a state educational institution to accept an associate degree from another state educational institution as credit toward a related bachelor's degree."

We do not know precisely how this legislation will be implemented. However, there is a possibility that this could mean we have to accept a very wide range of general education courses from a diverse range of state institutions of higher education as part of our engineering degrees. This could have a major impact. 

The second is House Bill 1220, Commission for higher education.

Again quoting from the official web page, this bill "[a]llows the commission for higher education to approve or disapprove existing or new associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees, or programs leading to a certificate or other indication of accomplishment. Requires degree proposals submitted to the commission for higher education for approval to provide justifications for any additional credit requirements. Requires each state educational institution to review its undergraduate degree programs to determine the number of credit hours required for the degree and to report the results of the review to the commission, including a justification for any associate degree program of more than 60 hours or baccalaureate degree program of more than 120 hours."

We have already responded in that our own Multidisciplinary Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies degree programs have been reduced to 120 credit hours to meet this new legislative mandate. Other engineering degree programs are still exploring ways to reduce their total number of credits and/or justify why their program must exceed 120 hours. Depending on what other schools propose to do, this could have some interesting collateral impact on ENE.

Separately, each of these pieces of legislation changes the boundary conditions of our degree offerings in non-trivial ways. The combination may pose major challenges for us.

It may be possible to stay out of the current national conversation about reform in higher education because it all seems too remote, too abstract or too distant. However, we cannot ignore what is happening in our local legislature. These changes are here and now; they are the law. One lesson to take from this is that we should be active participants in both the local and national conversations so that we can influence the outcomes and not be left to react to whatever comes our way. Change is here and more will come. We have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to help shape preferred futures.      

 - david

Calendar: 7/2

Summer 2012

  • June 18 - July 12 - STAR (Student Transition Advising and Registration)
  • June/July - ENGR 132 Summer Section

Fall 2012

  • Aug 14 - ENE Research Advance (10am-3pm)
  • Aug 17 - New PhD student Orientation
  • Aug 20 - Classes Commence
  • Aug 23 - ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30pm
  • Sept 28 - Inaugural ENE First Year Friday (A celebration of FYE)
  • Sept 28-29 - Alumni Weekend
  • Sept  29 - Family Day (ENE Booth)
  • Oct 12-14 - Homecoming Weekend (ENE Booth and i2i Learning Lab Tours)
  • Oct 24/25 - PhD Open House (TBC)
  • Nov 1 - 2nd Annual ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium - "Where did I leave my chariot?"
  • Nov 2 - Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) - Theme: Research

National or Independence Days around the World

Kudos: 7/2

...to Sean Brophy and his co-authors on receiving the 2012 Woody Everett Best Poster Award for their paper at ASEE entitled “Work-in-Progress: Linking a Geographically Distributed REU Program with Networking and Collaboration Tools.” 

...to Ron Carr, Lynch Bennet and Johannes Strobel on publication of "Engineering in the K-12 Standards", in the Journal of Engineering Education, 101(3), pp539-564.

...to Anna Woodcock, Bill Graziano, Sarah Branch, Ida Ngambeki, and Demetra Evangelou on publication of "Engineering Career Choices: Research and Personality" in the Journal of Engineering Education, 101(3), pp495-511.

...to Ida Ngambeki on successfully completing the requirements for her PhD in engineering education. She'll graduate in August. Congratulations, Ida!

...to Monica Cox and others for the Guest Editorial on "Continuing the Dialog: Possibilities for Community Action Research in Engineering Education" in the Journal of Engineering Education, 101(3), pp407-411.

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.