The fourth phase of the project, View of Faculty and Professional Societies, was intended to refine the profile of the “T-shaped” graduate, an engineer who is both technically accomplished and able to succeed in a team-driven, culturally and ethnically diverse, and globally oriented workforce. Thirty-six representatives of professional engineering societies, and academia conceived and pledged to begin implementing a series of collaborative initiatives to train the coming generation of engineers in the technical and professional competencies demanded by industry and society. In April 2017, the attendees participated in a two-day workshop where they proposed improvement to curricula, mentoring and experiential learning opportunities.
Drawing on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) identified during TUEE Phases I (Synthesizing and Integrating Industry Perspectives) and II (Insights from Tomorrow’s Engineers), participants were led before the workshop through a series of surveys, accompanied by expert analysis, to distill a list of essential KSAs. The list was further refined in small group discussions once the meeting began, opening the way for an examination of how students could acquire the needed competencies.
The participants offered numerous tools to develop and assess the desired competencies and proposed a plethora of classroom, lab, and extra-curricular enhancements with a stress on capstone projects, mentoring and internships. Mixing practical advice with pedagogy, they pondered what attributes students should stress on a resume and in a job interview.
They further went on to explore three questions: what role professional societies should play in influencing changes in curricular/pedagogy in academia; what role professional societies can and should play in providing experiential learning opportunities; and how professional societies can assist in effecting curricular and pedagogical changes within the constraints of academic environments. They framed specific ways that individual societies and other organizations could contribute.