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Journal Papers

The following is a list of all publications generated by the Foundation Coalition, listed by author. These documents require the use of the Adobe Acrobat software in order to view their contents.

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  • Barrow, D., Bassichis, W., DeBlassie, D., Everett, L.J., Imbrie, P.K., Whiteacre, M.M., 1995, “An Integrated Freshman Engineering Curriculum, Why You Need It and How To Design It,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition (FC) is a seven school coalition working to define the undergraduate engineering curriculum for the next century. One goal of the project is to produce a technology rich, active learning environment for undergraduate engineers. There are three facets to the FC curriculum development philosophy at A&M:

    1) Curriculum Integration,

    2) Technology Utilization,

    3) Active/Cooperative Learning and Teaming.

    This paper discusses these facets and highlights the Texas A&MFreshman Curriculum Integration Team's (TAFCIT) achievements over the last year.

    Curriculum integration means typical first year courses (Engineering Problem Solving, Calculus, Graphics, Physics and English) are tightly coordinated to form a mutually supportive environment. Although students receive individual credit in each course, the courses are truly co-requisite. Each course strives to bring relevance to the others, often presenting different aspects of a common problem. Material presentation timing provides students with a ``need to know before knowledge'' sequence. Information and skills introduced in one course are promptly and regularly espoused in at least one other.

    This paper will discuss the philosophy and motivation behind an integrated curriculum and the process used in its development. The paper will continue with a discussion on classroom implementation including how to develop lesson plans, schedule classes, gather and use student feedback. Although the first year is not yet complete, we will give some preliminary results, and discuss our plans and concerns.

  • Bellamy, L., McNeill, B., Bailey, J., Roedel, R.J., Moor, W., Zwiebel, I., Laananen, D., 1995, “An Introduction to Engineering Design: Teaching the Engineering Process Through Teaming and the Continuous Improvement Philosophy,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: In this paper we describe a first year required course in engineering design, initiated at ASU in the Fall '94 semester. The organizing thread and philosophy for the course is the process of engineering, utilizing teaming and continuous improvement, based on Deming's fourteen points. Process is defined as a collection of interrelated tasks that take one from input to output in the engineering environment.

    The course has three components: Process Concepts, Design Laboratory, and Computer Modeling. In the concepts section, the emphasis is on a problem solving heuristic similar to the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act process or the Boeing Seven Step problem solving process. The concepts section meets once a week for two hours in a large, multimedia classroom with a center podium and tables for teams of four students. The capacity of the concepts class is 120 students.

    The design laboratory component of the class has two main portions: (1) A Mechanical Dissection and Reassembly of an Artifact, in which the reassembly process is developed, documented, and evaluated using community volunteers for testing, and (2) An Artifact Design for Reproducible Performance, in which an object is designed, constructed, and evaluated. In the Fall '94 semester, students dissected a telephone for the reassembly process and constructed a mouse trap powered model airplane launcher for the artifact design process.

    In the computer modeling component of the course, students learn how to develop models conceptually and then evaluate these models with Excel spreadsheets and TKSolver. Nine different computer models are generated and evaluated in this portion of the course, which meets in a computer classroom which contains approximately 25 computers.

    The class combines active learning and technology enhanced education. More details of the course content and the assessment and evaluation of the student performance will be described in the talk.

  • Griffin, R.B., Everett, L.J., Keating, P.B., Lagoudas, D., Tebeaux, E., Parker, D., Bassichis, W., Barrow, D., 1995, “Planning the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Sophomore Year Integrated Curriculum,” Fourth World Conference on Engineering Education, St. Paul, Minnesota, October 1995, vol. 1, pp. 228-232.


  • Anderson, C., Bryan, K., Froyd, J.E., Hatten, D., Kiaer, L., Moore, N., Mueller, M., Mottel, E., Wagner, J., 1996, “Competency Matrix Assessment in an Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (IFYCSEM) at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology integrates topics in calculus, mechanics, statics, electricity and magnetism, computer science, general chemistry, engineering design, and engineering graphics into a three course, twelve-credit-per-quarter sequence. In 1995-96, faculty teaching IFYCSEM unanimously agreed to move toward a competency matrix assessment approach advocated by Lynn Bellamy at Arizona State University. Using a competency matrix, faculty establish a two-dimensional grid. Along the vertical dimension of the grid, faculty list the topics and techniques with which they believe students should become facile. Along the horizontal dimension are the levels of learning according to Bloom's taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation. For each topic in the vertical dimension faculty establish the desired level of learning associated with a grade: A, B, or C. For each quarter in 1995-96, the resulting matrix contained about 500-600 elements or blocks. When a student has demonstrated a level of learning for a particular topic, the student marks the block as earned and enters in the competency matrix a reference to his/her portfolio showing where the supporting document may be found. Students maintain their own portfolios and competency matrices and at the end of each quarter students submit their competency matrix along with a portfolio as documentation. Faculty assign a grade based on the competency matrix.

    We present detailed descriptions of the rationale and process. Next, we discuss advantages and disadvantages, including feedback from both faculty and students. Finally, we discuss possible improvements for future implementation.

  • Mashburn, B., Monk, B., Smith, R., Lee, T., Bredeson, J., 1996, “Experiences with a New Engineering Sophomore Year,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper discusses first-year experiences in the implementation of a new engineering sophomore year at The University of Alabama (UofA). This curriculum development process is a part of The National Science Foundation’s Foundation Coalition (FC) Program at UofA. To provide background for the new sophomore year, the paper discusses the philosophy behind the UofA FC effort. This philosophy focuses on improving the classroom culture of engineering education. This is to be accomplished through teaming, course integration, and technology enabled classrooms. With this philosophy as a starting point, the paper discusses new course objectives, the course development process, and firstyear results. The course development process includes discussion of faculty input procedures, input from other FC campuses, and related experiences from the UofA FC freshman year. The paper describes four new courses that resulted from this development process. In conjunction with FC philosophy, these courses integrate mathematics and engineering, and introduce teaming and technology into the classroom. Results from the first year are discussed, including quantitative assessment, student journal comments, instructor impressions, and departmental reactions. Particular attention is paid to how the classroom is affected by team assignments and in-class computer use. Concluding comments include pros and cons of the new sophomore year, and plans for its refinement in the coming years.

  • Black, B.A., 1996, “From Conservation to Kirchhoff: Getting Started in Circuits with Conservation and Accounting,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper explores the connection between the general "conservation and accounting" approach to engineering science that forms the primary theme of the Foundation Coalition Sophomore Engineering Curriculum at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the more specialized "Kirchhoff's laws" techniques that are basic for understanding electric circuits.

    Circuit theory exists as a distinct discipline because of the set of specialized problem-solving techniques that apply to electric circuits. Conservation and accounting techniques provide a powerful set of tools for engineering problem solving, but conservation of charge and conservation of energy are not as useful as Kirchhoff's laws for routine solution of electrical circuit problems. Kirchhoff's laws are not wholly a consequence of the conservation principles. The laws also depend on the "lumped circuit" assumptions that restrict the class of problems to which circuit theory applies.

    The paper introduces the circuit variables current and voltage, and examines their relation to the conserved quantities of charge and energy. The lumped circuit model is discussed to illustrate the circumstances under which Kirchhoff's laws apply.

  • Barchilon, M., 1996, “Integrating Engineering Design and Engineering Communication to Enhance Quality,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Engineering students require strong design and communication abilities to succeed in today’s competitive workplace. To help students meet these needs, in Fall 1995 faculty at Arizona State University (ASU) began teaching an innovative new core course, Intermediate Engineering Design (ECE300), which integrates engineering design and engineering communication. In ECE300, which is the only course team-taught by engineering design and technical communication experts, faculty collaborate to help students develop their critical thinking abilities and improve the quality of their designs, documents, and presentations.

  • Blaisdell, S., Middleton, A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1996, “Re-engineering Engineering Education to Retain Women,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: In order to maintain and increase enrollment in engineering, engineering must, not only include, but actively recruit, women. However, engineering programs cannot stop there. Research indicates that more students leave than graduate with an engineering degree, and women are more likely to switch out of engineering than men.

    The Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program at Arizona State University was founded to improve the retention and recruitment of women in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). Toward that end, the WISE Program has developed a systematic approach to retain women in CEAS. These programs are discussed in detail. The climate survey, which was conducted to determine students' needs, and upon which many of the programs were derived, is discussed. Pre and post retention figures, and other assessment information, are presented.

  • Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Doak, B., Kawski, M., Green, M., Duerden, S., McCarter, J., Williams, P., Burrows, V., 1996, “Use of the Internet to Support an Integrated Introductory Course in Engineering, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and English,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Arizona State University has been offering an introductory course that integrates engineering design and modeling, calculus, physics, chemistry, and English through the Foundation Coalition, an Engineering Education Coalition sponsored by the National Science Foundation. One of the critical components of courseware developed through the Foundation Coalition is the infusion of technology enhanced education. This paper will describe the use of the Internet, through the World Wide Web and through videoconferencing, to support this introductory course. It is interesting to note that the success of Internet usage is directly tied to the performance of the net. That is, when Internet traffic or bandwidth problems arise, both the students and the faculty become less enthusiastic about using the technology.


  • Cordes, D., Parrish, A., Dixon, B., Borie, R., Jackson, J., Gaughan, P., 1997, “An Integrated First-Year Curriculum for Computer Science and Computer Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The University of Alabama is an active participant in the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition, a partnership of seven institutions who are actively involved in fundamental reform of undergraduate engineering education. As part of this effort, the University of Alabama has developed an integrated first-year curriculum for engineering students. This curriculum consists primarily of an integrated block of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering design. The engineering design course is used as the anchor that ties the other disciplines together.

    While this curriculum is highly appropriate (and successful) for most engineering majors, it does not meet the needs of a computer engineering (or computer science) major nearly as well. Recognizing this, the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering recently received funding under NSF’s Course and Curriculum Development Program to generate an integrated introduction to the discipline of computing.

    The revised curriculum provides a five-hour block of instruction (each semester) in computer hardware, software development, and discrete mathematics. At the end of this three-semester sequence, students will have completed the equivalent of CS I and CS II, a digital logic course, an introductory sequence in computer organization and assembly language, and a discrete mathematics course.

    The revised curriculum presents these same materials in an integrated block of instruction. As one simple example, the instruction of basic data types in the software course (encountered early in the freshman year) is accompanied by machine representation of numbers (signed binary, one and two’s complement) in the hardware course, and by arithmetic in different bases in the discrete mathematics course. It also integrates cleanly with the Foundation Coalition’s freshman year, and provides a block of instruction that focuses directly upon the discipline of computing.

  • Burrows, V., 1997, “Electronic Conferencing in Undergraduate Engineering Courses,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Two different electronic conferencing programs have been used in undergraduate engineering classes at ASU. The capabilities of these programs will be compared to faculty-generated “wants” and “needs” for electronic conferencing. Classroom experience with small and large, lower and upper division engineering classes will be described, and student feedback will be used to highlight specific strengths and weaknesses of the conferencing programs described. We have found that faculty and student satisfaction with electronic conferencing depends very strongly on the organization of topics within the conference, on ease of learning of the conferencing program, on the appearance of the program interface, on simplicity of program use, and on the quality of instructional materials, whether on-line or off-line. Specific examples will be cited. Potential future applications of electronic conferencing in an academic environment go well beyond conferencing within a course, and include Departmental, programmatic, and student organization bulletin boards, cross-department, crosscollege, and even inter-university topical bulletin boards, and their is strong potential for such programs to facilitate direct contact between industry and students within the context of course topics.

  • Bolton, R.W., Morgan, J.R., 1997, “Engineering Graphics in an Integrated Environment,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper focuses on the freshman year of the Foundation Coalition program at Texas A&M University. The curriculum includes chemistry, English, engineering, math and physics taught in an integrated just in time fashion using technology and delivered in an activecollaborative environment to students working in teams of four. Through our thrusts of integration, teaming, active learning and technology we hope to produce engineers who can solve increasingly complex problems more effectively.

    Graphical analysis, not generally taught or used by engineering students, has provided the best avenue for integration of graphics into the freshman Coalition environment. Graphical analysis techniques introduce CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) to the student in a manner that teaches graphical fundamentals and at the same time is relevant to topics addressed in other course work. Examples include:

    1) Graphical solutions to vectors are used to introduce the concept of coordinate systems and scale. Students use CADD to solve vector problems, which are expanded to include statically determinant truss problems. Using a graphical method reinforces the concepts introduced in the problem solving technique and adds insight into the precision of engineering calculations and drawings.

    2) Traditional topics in descriptive geometry have been replaced with an introduction to 3D model development. The goals of this change are to improve student visualization skills and to provide the student with tools that reinforce other subject in the coalition. Area and mass properties generated by a CADD package are used in the chemistry, engineering, math, and physics classes. CADD packages provide unique tools for accomplishing these tasks and give new life graphics topics.

    Another area where graphics provides a valuable interface is in developing communication skills. Integrated technical reports, produced by student engineering design teams, include technical content (graded by science, mathematics, and engineering faculty) and are submitted to English.

  • Blaisdell, S., Dozier, R.J., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1997, “Teaching and learning in an Era of Equality: An Engineering Program for Middle School Girls,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program at Arizona State University was founded to improve the retention and recruitment of women in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). In the summer of 1996, WISE obtained a grant from the City of Tempe to develop an engineering program targeted at middle school girls to expose them to and to interest them in engineering. This program, WISE TEAMS (Teaming Engineering Advocates with Middle School Students), was a two-day commuter program consisting of hands-on engineering activities, career information, and team building exercises. Among the thirty-eight participants for TEAMS, there were twelve underrepresented minorities. The content of the program is presented in this paper.

  • Bester, K., Lee, T., Roboski, J., Richardson, J., Laurie, C., 1997, “What Do You Do When Your Students Want To Lead?,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Engineering students in the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition (FC) program at the University of Alabama formed a Student Coalition Team “to help provide organization, communication, and support to the students of the Coalition.” The impetus for the formation of the Student Coalition Team came from students, not faculty. This paper describes the Student Coalition Team and explores how the structure of the Foundation Coalition program at the University of Alabama, primarily through enhanced studentstudent, faculty-student, and faculty-faculty interaction and communication, helped to create an environment which gave rise to the Student Coalition Team.


  • Morgan, J.R., Bolton, R.W., 1998, “An Integrated First-year Engineering Curricula,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Abstract: The Foundation Coalition (FC) Program at Texas A&M University includes chemistry, English, engineering, math and physics taught in an integrated two semester sequence using technology and delivered in an active-collaborative environment to students working in teams of three and four. A unique feature of the courses taught at A&M is the close coordination of subject matter maintained by the first-year faculty teaching team. Topics covered in each discipline are discussed in weekly meetings and efforts are made to teach and reinforce concepts across subject lines.

    The FC engineering component is taught as an integrated problem-solving/graphics course spanning both semesters of the first-year. Interdisciplinary series of class exercises and comprehensive design projects replace traditional standalone lectures and are used to introduce freshmen engineering students to design, problem solving and graphical analysis. Several instructors with varying engineering backgrounds team-teach the entire course. Each tends to focus on their area of expertise but also cross over when needed to insure complete coverage of course material. Engineering content includes topical examples to reinforce and be reinforced by other FC disciplines. The engineering component of the curriculum emphasizes development of basic engineering problemsolving, visualization, and communication skills and has the following as central goals:

    1) to provide the student with the necessary skills to perform effective problem solving;

    2) to introduce the students to some of the basic engineering tools;

    3) to help the student develop a logical thought process;

    4) to enable the students to have better spatial analysis skills;

    5) to help the students develop appropriate sketching skills; and

    6) to teach the students how to read and/or interpret technical presentations.

    The paper addresses some of the challenges encountered in an integrated program (such as, students with previous college credit in one or more area, and students with differing levels of academic preparation). We believe that our thrusts of integration, teaming, active learning and technology will produce engineers who can solve increasingly complex problems more effectively.

  • Cordes, D., Parrish, A., Dixon, B., Borie, R., Jackson, J., Hale, D., Hale, J., Sharpe, S., 1998, “An Inter-Disciplinary Software Engineering Track Emphasizing Component Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper describes the establishment of an integrated track in software engineering for three distinct academic disciplines at the University of Alabama: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Management Information Systems. This integrated track focuses on component engineering, and is being developed by a team of faculty from all three programs.

  • Blaisdell, S., Jones, R., Andreyev, C., 1998, “An Interactive CD-ROM to Sensitize Engineering Students to Diversity Issues,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Abstract - There is an ever-increasing emphasis on teamwork both in the engineering classroom and the workplace. As a result, engineering students need to be aware of how diversity issues play a role in group dynamics. Understanding diversity allows student teams to work more effectively, and provides students with particularly marketable skills for today’s corporate environment.

    With this in mind, the Foundation Coalition commissioned a project to develop a multimedia training for engineering student-related diversity issues in the form of an interactive CD ROM. Arizona State University’s Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program spearheaded this collaborative effort, including graduate students from Educational Media and International Business.

    The final product will be piloted in ASU’s first-year Foundation Coalition classroom during the fall, 1998 semester. Eventually, the program will be made available to engineering programs nation-wide. With the program, engineering students explore multiple situations where diversity is an issue. At a critical point, the student will have to make a choice of what a character should do or say to deal with the situation. The program will include multiple features to keep the student involved in the learning process.

    Designing a fully functional training in a form of a computer program is a lengthy process. The steps include doing a review of the relevant research, designing the framework, designing a storyboard, writing a script, soliciting feedback, recruiting a cast, shooting video, creating animation, programming, testing, and debugging. This paper discusses this process and the program content.

  • McNeill, B., Bellamy, L., 1998, “Assessment for Improvement in the Classroom,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Masaaki Imai, in his book Kaizen1, pointed out that unless a company continually strives to improve the quality of their products, the products’ quality will decline over time, even if the products start out as first in class. The same is true for educational courses; unless we continually work at improving the quality of a course, the course’s quality (effectiveness) will decline over time. The Second Law of Thermodynamics applies as much to courses and products as it does to heat engines.

    There are a number of different continuous improvement processes (e.g., Plan Do Check Act). In its simplest form, the continuous improvement process is a cycle made up of the following three steps:

    1) define a course, 2) assess the course, and 3) modify the course returning to step 2.

    The authors of this paper have developed, assessed, and modified four major courses during the last five years (Introduction to Engineering Design, Intermediate Design Methods, Understanding Engineering Systems : Computer Modeling and Conservation Principles, Thermodynamics).

    This paper presents our current thinking about the continuous improvement process and provides some of the tools and techniques we are currently using. The paper will discuss, in order, the three steps of this process.

  • Garcia, A., Keller, G., McHenry, A., Begay, F., 1998, “Enhancing Underrepresented Student Opportunities Through Faculty Mentoring and Peer Interactions,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: During the past seven years, an alliance of colleges and universities within Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Western Texas along with professional organizations, government laboratories, educational organizations, and corporations has been committed to one of the most challenging goals in higher education: increasing the number of African American, American Indian, and Hispanic bachelor degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. This alliance, known as the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO), has relied heavily on engaging students in academic and research activities outside the classroom involving science and engineering faculty and student peers in order to improve retention and increase graduation rates of underrepresented students.

    Over the past six years we have had 4,251 student participations within our alliance activities which include: (1) peer study groups; (2) summer bridge programs; (3) faculty-directed undergraduate students research; and (4) graduate preparation, mentorships, and research conference participations. In order to provide such a large number of student participations, our alliance calls upon over 500 resource individuals at 75 campuses and organizations where approximately 85% are scientists, engineers, and other faculty, and 15% are administrators. This paper will present our strategies for: (1) engaging science and engineering faculty and students in these activities which depends upon inter-institutional cooperation; (2) documentation of student information and student outcomes; and (3) institutionalization of these activities through the use of the Internet and through faculty development.

  • Al-Holou, N., Bilgutay, N.M., Corleto, C.R., Demel, J.T., Felder, R., Frair, K., Froyd, J.E., Hoit, M., Morgan, J.R., Wells, D.L., 1998, “First-Year Integrated Curricula Across Engineering Education Coalitions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The National Science Foundation has supported creation of eight engineering education coalitions: Ecsel, Synthesis, Gateway, SUCCEED, Foundation, Greenfield, Academy, and Scceme. One common area of work among these coalitions has been restructuring first-year engineering curricula. Within some of the Coalitions, schools have designed and implemented integrated first-year curricula. The purpose of this paper is to survey the different pilots that have been developed, abstract some design alternatives which can be explored by schools interested in developing an integrated first-year curriculum, indicated some logistical challenges, and present brief descriptions of various curricula along with highlights of the assessment results which have been obtained.

  • Sathianathan, D., Sheppard, S., Jenison, R., Bilgutay, N.M., Demel, J.T., Gavankar, P., Lockledge, J., Mutharasan, R., Phillips, H., Poli, C., Richardson, J., 1998, “Freshman Design Projects: Lessons Learned in Engineering Coalitions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: NSF established the Engineering Education Coalition programs for the purpose of creating systemic changes in engineering education. Coalitions are groups of institutions of higher learning who work collaboratively to achieve their coalition's mission. The first Coalition program was established in 1990. There are now eight Engineering Education Coalitions representing some 59 Universities (roughly 20% of all of the undergraduate institutions in the United States).

    Most coalitions have developed freshman design projects to increase the interest of new engineering students and to begin the integration of design across the curriculum. These activities are multi-week project approach, where students are engaged in hands-on experimental learning. The projects require that the members of the team must work together to complete the task. The multi-week projects dominate the course and the project theme motivates both the fixed and the flexible content covered during the course.

    This special session will discuss the various types of freshman design projects used and lessons learned by the Engineering Coalitions. Short presentations from the various coalitions will review what has been done and the lessons learned. The sessions will be interactive, involving the audience in the discussion of these lessons learned. A list of projects used in the coalitions along with a list of publications will be made available.

  • Fletcher, S., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., Blaisdell, S., 1998, “Industry Involvement in the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Recruiting and Retention Programs,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Abstract - Industry has recognized that the employment of women and minorities is critical in maintaining a diverse and progressive engineering environment. Concurrently, the increasing need for universities to produce engineers from diverse backgrounds has brought about the need for special programs that encourage the retention and development of underrepresented groups. Usually, only minimal funding is provided at an institutional level. However, the financial need of these programs has rapidly increased causing university diversity programs to seek external support. The coupling of industry and university programs has brought about a mutually beneficial relationship that maximizes the educational experience for both the present and the prospective engineering student.

    Industry has played a significant role in the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) recruitment programs. For example, industry has offered financial support, sponsored company tours, and initiated the participation of engineers to serve as educators and speakers for both middle school and high school summer programs. In addition, industry has played a significant role in WISE retention programs including the multi-tiered Mentor Program and on-site Shadow Program. These programs foster relationships between students and engineers and help bridge the gap between education and employment. Finally, industry members have further strengthened collaborative efforts by serving on the WISE industry advisory committee and participating as industry panel members at various events.

    An overview of WISE programs that involve industry support will be presented as well as a discussion of the impact industry has made on these particular programs. In addition, the mutual benefits of industry supported precollege recruitment and college retention programs will be discussed.

  • Blaisdell, S., 1998, “Predictors of Women's Entry into Engineering: Why Academic Preparation is Not Sufficient,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in engineering. Betz and Hackett [1] suggested that women's socialization provides them with less exposure to the information that allows individuals to develop self-efficacy for traditionally male occupations. This Social Cognitive hypothesis proposes that low self-efficacy for the tasks required to enter and succeed in engineering is the primary reason women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in engineering. The present study used a Social Cognitive framework and structural equation modeling to determine what factors predict the intentions of male and female high school students to pursue engineering majors in college.

    Preliminary analysis has revealed that, despite higher GPAs and a greater likelihood of enrolling in higher-level math and science courses, females were less likely to intend to major in engineering. In fact, the better academically prepared a student was to enter engineering, the less likely they were to intend to do so. Students who perceived engineering to be a rewarding career were also less likely to intend to major in it. Minority status did not have a significant affect on the intention to major in engineering. However, the model overall did not meet the criteria for a good fit and additional models need to be tested.

    These preliminary data indicate that in order to increase the likelihood of a high school student planning on an engineering career, efforts should be focused on the student gaining quality mathematical and science experiences, exposure to engineering role models, and a special emphasis must be made with respect to recruiting women into engineering.

  • White, M.A., Blaisdell, S., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1998, “Recruiting Women into Engineering Graduate Programs,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Since women are seriously underrepresented in engineering graduate programs, programs are needed to bridge existing retention programs for undergraduate women with retention programs for graduate women in engineering. These efforts are likely to strengthen the pipeline of women entering academia.

    The National Science Foundation-funded Women in Engineering Scholars program is designed to encourage more women to pursue graduate school in engineering. The Scholars Program is administered through the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program at Arizona State University and it includes strong industry participation.

    The Scholars Program is based on a theory of selfefficacy or one's belief about how well she or he can perform a given task or behavior: this includes providing the students with opportunities to experience performance accomplishments, encouragement, and support. The first programmatic component is mentoring for the participants by women earning, or who have earned, graduate degrees in engineering. This aspect also provides for formal and informal networking opportunities to create a supportive community for the participants. This segment concludes with an industry-sponsored banquet for the Scholars, their mentors, and other supporters.

    The second component includes a series of workshops and seminars on what to expect from, and how to apply to, graduate school. The highlight of this segment is an 8-week summer research experience with an Engineering faculty member. This experience concludes with research symposia at which Scholars present their projects and accomplishments.

    A description of the program will be presented including budget and funding, participant recruiting, preliminary results, and lessons learned.

  • Cordes, D., Parrish, A., Dixon, B., Pimmel, R.L., Jackson, J., Borie, R., 1998, “Teaching an Integrated First-Year Computing Curriculum: Lessons Learned,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: This paper describes an integrated first year curriculum in computing for Computer Science and Computer Engineering students at the University of Alabama. The curriculum is built around the basic thrusts of the Foundation Coalition, and provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of computing for both majors.

  • Barrow, D., Fulling, S., 1998, “Using an Integrated Curriculum to Improve Freshman Calculus,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: This paper addresses the following question: What are some of the ways that the beginning calculus course for engineers can be improved, if it is part of an integrated curriculum that also includes physics, engineering, and chemistry courses? The authors have had the opportunity to participate in such an integrated curriculum at Texas A&M for the past two to four years. Several major changes were made in the first-year calculus sequence in order to present various topics at the times they were applied in other courses. We have found that these changes not only serve the needs of the partner disciplines, but also provide a more unified and coherent treatment of some topics from the point of view of mathematics itself. Vectors, parametric curves, line integrals, and especially centers of mass and moments of inertia are topics that students traditionally find difficult, unmotivated, or confusing because of inconsistent notation or terminology in different courses; covering them “early” actually improves their presentation. Other topics, such as multiple integrals, orthonormal bases, ordinary differential equations, and numerical approximation of derivatives and integrals, can be introduced in a motivated way in preparation for their more in-depth treatment in later years. Following “learning cycle” and “learning style” ideas, we have made an effort to provide more motivation and practice within the mathematics course; but the most effective and efficient motivators and practice fields are coordinated courses in other disciplines where the mathematics is actually used.

  • White, M.A., Blaisdell, S., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1998, “Women in Engineering Scholars Program,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Women continue to be seriously underrepresented in engineering graduate programs. In Fall, 1996, women accounted for only 19.2% of the masters students and 16.2% of the doctoral students enrolled in engineering programs (Engineering Workforce Commission, 1997). A recent survey found that only 44% of students majoring in engineering their freshman year were still in engineering their senior year. Women and minority students were more likely to switch out of engineering than men and majority students (Astin, 1996). Additionally, the transition from undergraduate to graduate programs is one of three critical points in a woman’s engineering education (Betz, 1994).

    While many programs seek to facilitate women’s entry into engineering there are few programs which encourage women to pursue graduate degrees in engineering. Programs are needed to bridge existing retention programs for undergraduate women with retention programs for graduate women in engineering. These efforts are likely to strengthen the pipeline of women entering academia.

    By increasing the number of women obtaining graduate degrees in engineering, the number of available role models for women considering engineering will increase. Also, given that engineers with graduate degrees tend to exert more power and influence in industry, increasing the number of women with such degrees will help to create a more gender-inclusive environment. Finally, because some individuals earning graduate degrees in engineering remain in academia, increasing the number of women earning such degrees with help to create a more gender-inclusive environment in engineering, especially in graduate programs.


  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., 2001, “Development of the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (SSCI) Assessment Instrument,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Linear systems theory is a core component of the undergraduate curriculum in electrical and computer engineering. This work-in-progress describes the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (SSCI), an assessment tool designed to measure students' understanding of fundamental concepts in linear systems. The objective of this research is to develop a means of evaluating pedagogical techniques and curricular reform. The SSCI is patterned after the Force Concept Inventory, which is used to assess students' conceptual understanding of Newtonian physics. This paper discusses the development of the SSCI and its initial testing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) and George Mason University (GMU).

  • Moore, D.J., Berry, F., 2001, “Industrial Sponsored Design Projects Addressed by Student Design Teams,” Journal of Engineering Education, 90:1, 69-73.


  • Todd, B.A., Brown, M.A., Pimmel, R.L., Richardson, J., 2002, “Short Instructional Modules for Lifelong Learning, Project Management, Teaming, and Time Management,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference, Gainesville FL, April 2002.

    Abstract: Criteria 3 of ABET 2000 includes professional skills that have not traditionally been explicitly taught in undergraduate engineering programs. In addition, the criterion related to "modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice" provides for the instruction of a wide range of topics that are useful for the young engineer. Engineering faculty have limited experience and resources on teaching professional skills. Most engineering programs do not have the luxury of adding a professional skills course to their already overcrowded curriculum. Therefore, a suite of modules has been developed for the professional skills of lifelong learning, project management, teaming, and time management. Each module has been designed to fit within three 50-minute class periods in a standard course and includes bridge material to transition back to the original course. Each module was beta-tested by another instructor with a multidisciplinary group of student evaluators. The beta testing was done as a highly controlled stand-alone experience instead of part of a regular class. Many of these modules have not yet been used in the traditional classroom. Overall, the students had a positive reaction to each of the modules. Details of each of the modules and specific resluts of the beta testing are included in the paper. While the modules are still undergoing improvement, they are at a stage where they can be used by other faculty. Thus, the modules are available at

  • Stern, H.P., Brown, M.A., 2002, “Short Instructional Modules for Teaching Ethical and Societal Issues Within an Engineering Curriculum,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference, Gainesville FL, April 2002.

    Abstract: Engineering employers and academic accreditation agencies are now insisting that societal and ethical issues be included in the standard engineering curriculum. We have developed and tested short (three class-hour) modules on three of these issues—engineering ethics, an awareness of the societal impact of engineering, and knowledge of contemporary issues. These modules have been designed for simple integration into standard technical courses, effectively introducing key concepts and promoting student awareness, showing directly how the issues relate to the practice of engineering and minimally impacting the existing curricula. This paper provides details of each of the modules—objectives, outlines for each class, in-class exercises, assignments, assessment guidelines, and techniques for bridging the material into specific engineering disciplines. We have tested each of the modules on a group of students, and the data from our tests show that students who complete the modules increase their awareness of ethical, societal, and contemporary issues and significantly increase their self-confidence with respect to these issues, feeling more capable of addressing them in their professional practice.

  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., Welch, T.B., Wright, C., 2002, “The Continuous-time Signals and Systems Concept Inventory,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Orlando, FL, May 2002.

    Abstract: This paper describes the development of a continuous-time signals and systems concept inventory (CT SSCI) exam. The CT SSCI exam has twenty-five multiple choice questions and is designed to assess students’ understanding of core concepts in undergraduate signals and systems. The questions require little or no computation, and contain distractors, or incorrect answers, that capture common student misconceptions. This paper discusses the list of concepts covered by the exam, reviews test results for the first version of the CT SSCI, and describes the question design strategy. A study to evaluate version 2.0 of the exam is underway at four campuses, and this paper reports preliminary results from that study.

  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., Welch, T.B., Wright, C., 2002, “The Signals and Systems Concept Inventory,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: This paper describes the development of continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems concept inventory exams for undergraduate electrical engineering curricula. Both exams have twenty-five multiple choice questions to assess students’ understanding of core concepts in these courses. The questions require little or no computation, and contain incorrect answers that capture common student misconceptions. The design of both exams is discussed, as are ongoing studies evaluating the exams at four campuses. Preliminary results from administering the continuous-time exam as a pre-test and post-test indicate a normalized gain of 0.24 ± 0.08 for traditional lecture courses, consistent with reported results for the Force Concept Inventory exam in lecture courses for freshman physics.


  • Bowe, N., Taylor, L., Smith, K., Zuckerman, R., Moore, D.J., 2003, “Getting Engineers to Think and Act like Entrepreneurs,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is pioneering the education of undergraduate entrepreneurial engineers. Engenius Solutions is a program funded through a grant from the Lilly Foundation. The project, at Rose-Hulman, is offering capital and other resources to help undergraduate engineers understand what it takes to recognize opportunities and turn them into entrepreneurial ventures. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit ideas to Engenius Solutions for evaluation and review. Following an in-depth qualification procedure, those deemed to have potential are then given project resources including student project teams, prototyping support, work space, Intellectual Property support, and project management to help develop their idea. Engenius Solutions also provides financial, marketing, and business insight to assist their clients (students, faculty, staff) in taking ideas from concept to market. Future plans include accepting clients from outside the Rose-Hulman community. The program is driven by a core management team of four undergraduate students managing the program with limited oversight provided by a Board of Governors. The board consists of faculty and staff from multiple disciplines across the campus.

    This paper will present an overview of the program, including the management philosophy for both the funded program and the individual client projects. Also covered is a discussion of the underlying project objective—allowing students to run a project, with limited faculty oversight, in an effort to allow engineers to become better acquainted with the business world and more capable of effectively handling interactions between entrepreneurs and large companies. The main focus of the paper will be on the benefits and opportunities provided by allowing students to work on exciting new ideas and projects and on developing their own intellectual property in a multidisciplinary setting. Specifically to be included are the interactions among different engineering disciplines, interactions between engineering disciplines and business disciplines from other schools, and how this will enhance the overall engineering education.

  • Clark, M.C., Revuelto, J., Kraft, D., Beatty, P., 2003, “Inclusive Learning Communities: The Experience of the NSF Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: This qualitative study examines the experience of cohorted students in the Foundation Coalition curricula. These cohorts serve as inclusive learning communities that function in multiple ways to enhance student learning. Elements of their learning include learning to work as a team; discovering how they learn best; figuring out the most effective ways to get help; learning to survive in college; and learning how to think like engineers. We conclude that the cohort experience is a powerful facilitator of student learning.

  • Bagert, D.J.., Ardis, M.A.., 2003, “Software Engineering Baccalaureate Programs in the United States: An Overview,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: There are currently more than 20 Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degree programs in the United States. The first accredited software engineering programs in the U.S. are likely in the 2002-03 cycle, and it is expected that the total number of such programs will continue to see steady growth for several years to come. The authors have provided a comparison of programs in order to determine what trends are emerging, which will benefit both current software engineering undergraduate programs, as well as those institutions that are thinking of creating new degrees of this type. The curriculum content of these programs is broken down by subject area and compared with curriculum models and accreditation criteria. The results of a survey of undergraduate software engineering programs worldwide that was conducted by the authors is used both to provide additional data about the U.S. programs and to compare them as a group to their counterparts in other countries.


  • Pavelich, M., Jenkins, B., Birk, J., Bauer, R., Krause, S.J., 2004, “Development of a Chemistry Concept Inventory for Use in Chemistry, Materials, and Other Engineering Courses,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, 2004–1907.

    Abstract: Concept Inventory (CI) is the label given to an exam that explores students' mental models, their qualitative images, of how science and engineering work. Data support that students can often solve mathematical problems in a course but have poor or incorrect mental models about the fundamental concepts behind the mathematics. For example, a student may be able to recall, or deduce, and then apply the proper equation to solve a problem but may not answer a qualitative, conceptual, question correctly. We teachers would like students to be able to understand and correctly answer both questions. However, our traditional college curricula emphasize the quantitative type exercises and simply assume that student success on these implies strong conceptual mental models that would have them answer the qualitative question correctly. Data 1 from the well researched physics CI, the Force Concept Inventory by Hestenes, show that this assumption is not good. Most students who succeed in our science and engineering courses still have seriously immature or outright incorrect mental models about the subjects they have studied. Their concept understanding is much weaker than it should be. This paper describes the ongoing work on the development and testing of a Chemistry Concept Inventory (ChCI) meant to help faculty determine the extent of misconceptions about chemistry that students might carry into their engineering courses. The ChCI is also meant to serve as an evaluation instrument for chemistry or engineering faculty members who devise new ways of teaching designed to repair students' misconceptions and strengthen their correct mental models of chemistry. The work reported here was primarily done by co-author Brooke Jenkins as part of her Masters research in Chemical Education.


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