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Draft learning objectives for the SEAS core

Task Force on the Engineering Core Curriculum

Objectives, principles, and proficiencies for faculty comment


For purposes of the Task Force and for this document, the “core curriculum” is the collection of courses that is required of all engineering students, regardless of major. While these courses are concentrated in the first year, they are nonetheless spread across the four-years of the typical undergraduate plan of study.

Objectives of the core curriculum

Provide students with the fundamental training, development, skills, and experiences that prepare them to excel as professionals.

Consolidate technical and professional proficiencies shared by our several engineering disciplines to be taught by experts in those fields.

Instill in students an engineering mindset that includes a systematic, strategic approach to design and to problem-solving.

Prepare students for entry into specific engineering fields.

Principles guiding delivery

Delivery of the core curriculum should be based on the following principles:

  1. Holistic (integrated between and within each course)
  2. Experiential (learned by doing)
  3. Motivating (fun, engaging, challenging, equitable)
  4. Authentic (open ended, value-driven, consequential, relevant, affirming)
  5. Communal (consisting of mentorship, advising, collaboration, networking, and inclusion)

Diversity and equity are reflected in these principles (i.e. integrated, engaging, equitable, affirming, inclusive).

Core Learning Objectives

The below-listed proficiencies define what all engineering students should learn, not how they should learn it, nor in what classes they should be learned.

Technical Proficiencies

  1. Math

    1. Differential and integral calculus
    2. Multivariate calculus
    3. Differential equations
    4. Linear Algebra
    5. Probability
    6. Statistics
  2. Science
    1. Physics
    2. Chemistry
    3. Biological sciences
  3. Computation
    1. Information technology and computer literacy
    2. General-purpose programming
    3. Computational problem solving
  4. Systematic Design (Process/Cycle)
    1. Engineering design process
    2. Active Observation and Deduction
    3. Prototyping
    4. CAD
  5. Data Analysis
    1. Graphs, charts, and regression
    2. Data curation and pre-processing
  6. Cognitive skills
    1. Creativity
    2. Spatial reasoning
    3. Scientific method and critical thinking

Professional Proficiencies

  1. Technical and non-technical communication

    1. Written
    2. Verbal
    3. Visual
    4. Presentation (story telling)
  2. Ethics and societal impact
    1. Ethics
      1. Identification of ethical issues in an engineering project
      2. Standards of Conduct (rule-based ethics) and professional codes of ethics
      3. Virtue ethics
      4. Consequentialism
      5. Kantianism
      6. Liability and Regulation
    2. Societal impact
      1. Perspective and perception (positionality)
      2. Risk Analysis and Mitigation
      3. Global viewpoints

  1. Leadership development

    1. Effective teamwork and collaboration skills

      1. Study and work groups
      2. Managing conflict
      3. Reflection and feedback
      4. Diverse and different backgrounds
    2. Research and Learning Skills
      1. Asking good questions
      2. Literature review
      3. Evaluating arguments
      4. Metacognition
    3. Emotional Intelligence
    4. Principles of Project Management
      1. Scope, Scope control
      2. Work breakdown
      3. Critical Path Analysis
  2. Intellectual Property
    1. Ownership
  3. Career management
    1. Networking
    2. Mentoring
    3. Placement

DMU Timestamp: March 07, 2019 02:52

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