Fall 2015 Wrap-Up
The School of Engineering Education (ENE) has had another bumper semester. Exciting things have been happening in all three of our academic programs; First-Year Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering and the Graduate Program in Engineering Education.
The number of first-year engineering students entering Purdue hit a record high this fall. The academic ability of this cohort, measured by test scores and high school performance, is the best it has ever been. The percentage of females entering engineering continues to rise, reaching 29% for the first time this year.
From their first few weeks on campus, all these students experience working in a diverse team of four on projects. At the annual Co-Op Hall of Fame Ceremony earlier this fall, one of honorees observed that “one of great things that current engineering students have, which was not available in my day, are the ENGR 131/132 courses, Ideas to Innovation.” He went on to highlight how the focus in this course sequence on teamwork, doing projects and the development of other professional habits of mind is excellent preparation for those who apply for co-op positions or internships.
We pioneered this innovative approach to engaging our students in engineering back in 2008. Since then over 15,000 students have had this enriched learning experience based on the principles of active and collaborative learning using a “flipped classroom.” This massive impact on a generation of engineering students came about because our faculty in the School of Engineering Education are at the forefront of educational research related to engineering; many are national or global thought leaders in their respective areas of engineering education.
Our ability to fulfill our stated mission of transforming engineering education based on scholarship and research was significantly enhanced this fall when our faculty collectively in ENE secured $10.6M in new, competitive research funding – this a record amount. Read More
Building on the foundation in our innovative FYE courses, the students in our Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program now have a common curricula core across their junior and senior. Several new courses were introduced this fall with consequential changes happening this spring and next year. These improvements help to give our IDE students - who by definition have varsity different, often unique, plans of study - to develop a shared set of design and professional skills in an interdisciplinary context.
Also aimed at building a sense of shared purpose and esprit de corps, this fall we commissioned a common room for the interdisciplinary engineering students; this is the first time these students have had such a place. The students have really made it their own and named it, affectionately, “the Nest.”
Now in its 10th year, our PhD program in Engineering Education has a total of 65 graduates – all with jobs. This is a remarkable accomplishment in a relatively short time in a brand new field where we had to design the program ab initio with no model to learn from. We also have a growing number of people completing our new Master’s degree. (The photo features the 2015 cohort participating in orientation activities. Click for more photos.)
This fall the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved our Graduate Certificate in Engineering Education. This new program is aimed at engineering PhD students across the College of Engineering who are considering becoming a college professor. Through the Graduate Certificate they will acquire knowledge and skills on how to be an effective, scholarly teacher and a successful professor. This cadre of PhDs with a unique combination of cutting edge research in one of the technical disciplines plus contemporary knowledge of teaching and learning practices will position Purdue as the school that continues to lead the transformation of engineering education nationally.
I hope you share our deep sense of pride at the impact that we are having on the next generation of Purdue engineers and on the future education of engineers nationally and globally in the years to come.
We invite you to campus to experience it for yourself. As always, keep in touch.
Kamyar Haghighi Head, School of Engineering Education