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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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  • 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.


  • Corleto, C.R., Kimball, J.L., Tipton, A., MacLauchlan, R.A., 1996, “The Foundation Coalition First year Integrated Engineering Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville: Development, Implementation, and Assessment,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper presents a first year integrated engineering curriculum that was implemented at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in the 1995-96 academic year. The curriculum is the result of the efforts by the Foundation Coalition, a National Science Foundation sponsored engineering coalition of 7 institutions around the United States. The goal of the Colaition is to implement curriculum reform in engineering education. In line with the goals of the Foundation Coalition, this curriculum was designed to incorporate changes in four major thrust areas: curriculum integration, technology enabled learning, human interface development, and assessment, evaluation and dissemination. Traditional first year courses in Science, Engineering, Math, and English, have been modified such that topics are delivered based on a predefined sequence which emphasizes basic skills and thematic concepts rather than discipline boundaries, and problem solving strategies, and design. Active learning, or collaborative learning, is also being used in the classroom.


  • Corleto, C.R., Stewart, J., Tipton, A., 1997, “Evaluation of a First-Year Integrated Engineering Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Since fall 1995, the First-Year Integrated Engineering Curriculum (FYIEC) has been offered at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK). This curriculum is the result of the efforts by the Foundation Coalition, an NSF funded engineering coalition, to produce an enduring foundation for student development and life-long learning.


  • Secola, P.M., Smiley, B.A., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., Castro, M., Tomaszewski, B., 2001, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Saturday Academies in an Engineering Outreach Program,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Women in Applied Sciences and Engineering (WISE) Investments is an innovative program that introduces middle school and high school girls to the exciting world of engineering and technology. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, WISE Investments seeks to provide an intervention at both the middle school and high school levels by showing that engineering has real world applications; by demonstrating the problem-solving approach of engineers; by correcting misperceptions; and by providing positive engineering information and role models.

    Female students in grades 6 through 12 were recruited to commit to a one-year program where they enrolled in eight Saturday Academies held once each month during the 1999-2000 school year. They were exposed to engineering through industry tours, mentoring sessions with college female engineering students, and hands-on projects from eight disciplines of engineering. The students were exposed to basic concepts and skills that illustrated engineering as meeting a human need to solve human problems.


  • Powers, T.A., Sims-Knight, J.E., Topciu, R.A., Haden, S.C., 2002, “Assessing Team Functionality in Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: The present study used a series of team process checks modeled on those developed at Arizona State University to assess team functioning. Team members completed these forms individually and then collectively the members assessed the team as a whole. These process checks were compared to faculty ratings of the teams. The students’ individual knowledge about teaming skills was also assessed and the relationship of these various measures to performance was examined. Two distinct dimensions of team functioning appear to be measured by the team process check: agency and affiliation. The process checks were positively correlated with faculty ratings, and the agency dimension of the scale predicted team project scores in one of the classes evaluated but not in the other two.

  • Pimmel, R.L., Karr, C.L., Todd, B.A., 2002, “Instructional Modules for Teaching Written, Oral, and Graphical Communication Skills to Engineering Students,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference, Gainesville,= FL, April 2002.

    Abstract: EC 2000 requires that engineering students learn and demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively, which in an engineering environment implies oral, written, and graphical communication skills. The already overcrowded curriculum and pedagogical considerations make adding communications courses unacceptable. We prepared three short instructional modules suitable for teaching these skills in any engineering course as a part of a more extensive program to develop instructional modules in several EC 2000 skill areas. Each module uses three 50-minute classes and relies on active-cooperative learning strategies and Internet-based resources. Instructional material includes PowerPoint slides, in-class team activities, homework assignments, and an instructor guide. We have tested each module in an evaluation program where a faculty member who did not develop the module taught it to approximately ten students. These data showed improvement in the students' confidence in their ability to complete tasks identified in the module's learning objectives. They also indicated that the learning objectives were clear and supported by the material; that the justifications were clear and convincing; and that the lecture material, team activities, and assignments were appropriate.

  • Penrod, L., Talley, D., Froyd, J.E., Caso, R., Lagoudas, D., Kohutek, T., 2002, “Integrating "Smart" Materials Into a First-Year Engineering Curriculum: A Case Study,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Developments in materials science are creating new possibilities for engineering designs. For example, multifunctional materials, such as shape memory alloys (SMA) or piezoelectric materials are referred to as “smart” materials since designers can use properties of these materials to construct components of adaptive mechanisms. For example, researchers are using shape memory alloys (SMA) to build biomimetic systems that mimic the behavior of biological organisms such as fish or insects. The ability of SMA components to change shape in response to thermal or electrical stimuli considerably simplifies construction of biomimetic systems. As multifunctional materials are changing the practice of engineering, providing undergraduate students with exposure and experiences with these materials and their potential for new design options should be seriously explored.

    The proposed paper presents a narrative description of how material on SMA was integrated into a first-year engineering course and a first-year engineering project. Key partners, including an undergraduate engineering student working on a research experience and a first-year graduate student, will describe their roles in integrating material into a first-year engineering course that was taught in Fall 2001. Also, data describing the impact on students and faculty will be presented.

  • 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

  • Todd, B.A., 2002, “Short, Instructional Module to Address Lifelong Learning Skills,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Every engineering program must demonstrate their graduates’ abilities to recognize the need for and engage in lifelong learning, as established in ABET 2000, Criterion 3(i).1 While faculty agree that lifelong learning is an important skill and one that is significant in the future careers of their graduates, they often have limited experience and resources for teaching this topic. For many engineering programs, it is hard to demonstrate where lifelong learning is contained in their curricula.

    Since the addition of a “lifelong learning” course does not seem practical or attractive, a short module on this topic has been developed. The module is designed to fit logically into many upper division courses, particularly those involving open ended projects requiring the discovery of additional information. The classroom material will fit into three 50-minute class periods in a standard course. Although the module would take about a week of lecture away from a course, an improvement in the students’ abilities should be seen further along in the curriculum to justify the time spent. The module is organized to provide instruction on the objectives and associated tools as well as an opportunity to practice the new learning skills. This progressive development follows the format for teaching skills suggested by Woods et al2, where a skill is introduced in a context-free environment and then bridged and extended into the discipline material.

    The module contains a set of PowerPoint slides that can be adapted for any discipline and used in the classroom. The classroom material incorporates active and cooperative learning exercises. There is an instructor’s guide with background information on the topic, suggested in-class and homework assignments, and some suggestions for grading assignments on this “soft” skill.

    The draft module was tested by a faculty member in computer science with a multi-disciplinary class of undergraduate student evaluators. Post module surveys (ranking topics on a scale of 1-5) were completed by the evaluators. Additional feedback was collected from the instructor and a faculty observer. This feedback has been used to improve the module.

    The following sections describe the contents of the module. Later in the paper, the results of testing are presented.

  • Sims-Knight, J.E., Upchurch, R.L., Powers, T.A., Haden, S.C., Topciu, R.A., 2002, “Teams in Software Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The ability to work as an effective member of a development team is a primary goal of engineering education and one of the ABET student learning outcomes. As such, teaming has received increased attention in both the classroom and the literature over the past several years. Instructors of software engineering courses typically organize students into teams but expect, erroneously, that students learn the skills they need and learn to avoid dysfunctional patterns simply by working in teams. This paper describes the development of tools that can incorporate an assessment-based continuous improvement process on team skills into engineering classes. The primary focus in on the development of (1) a self-report assessment tool that would provide pointers toward improvement and (2) a test of students' knowledge of best teaming practices. The paper also describes a first pass at embedding these assessment tools into a continuous improvement process.


  • 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.


  • Triplett, C., Haag, S.G., 2004, “Freshman Engineering Retention,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, 1793.

    Abstract: Prior local assessment of students entering high school bridge programs shows that, although students may feel prepared to take math and science courses, they but may not possess the skills necessary to succeed and persist in engineering. Preliminary findings show that programs should not be limited to attracting individuals into engineering majors but also correctly assess the ability of these students and provide necessary interventions. Conducting assessment has the potential to identify areas for program refinement and highlights specific areas for follow up and improvement. The goal of this study is to create an overall assessment process to evaluate the retention and success of freshman engineering students and to provide data results and critical indicators to the key stakeholders in order to drive change.

    In this study, retention rates of first-time, full-time freshman engineering students were examined over a three-year period. This data analysis includes examining the following: (a) retention patterns, (b) for gender and minority status, and (c) migration to different engineering majors. Initial data reveal that female students were retained at a higher overall percentage rate than males for three years, a noteworthy finding. Additionally, most students who left engineering were leaving the university entirely, rather than switching majors. Thus, further research is warranted to examine how to serve all at-risk students and to create appropriate intervention and resource strategies.

  • Krause, S.J., Tasooji, A., Griffin, R.B., 2004, “Origins of Misconceptions in a Materials Concept Inventory from Student Focus Groups,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: A Materials Concept Inventory (MCI) that measures conceptual change in introductory materials engineering classes uses student misconceptions as question responses, or “distracters,” in the multiple-choice MCI test. In order to understand the origin of the misconceptions, selected sets of questions on particular topics from the MCI were discussed and evaluated with student focus groups. The groups were composed of six to ten students who met for two hours at the beginning of a semester with two “new” groups that had not taken the introductory materials course and two “prior” groups of students that had taken the course. Two examples of questions from one of the sets of topics that were discussed are presented from two areas of the thermal properties of metals. It was found that the logic and rationale for selection of given answers which were misconceptions arose from a variety of sources. These included personal observation, prior teaching, and television shows, as well as other sources. Some discussions led to suggestions of possible interventions for improving student learning and conceptual knowledge of a topic. Implications of the results and suggestions for possible improvements in teaching of introductory materials classes are discussed.


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