Engineering education globally is facing numerous challenges as the world emerges
from the pandemic and adapt to changes in demographics, workforce needs, and
technology. In response, ASEE is leading efforts focused on diversity, curricula, and workforce needs. One initiative is focused on helping institutions change the way they recruit, admit, and educate engineering students. The goals of this initiative, entitled “Weaving Students into Engineering versus Weeding Them Out” is two-fold: first, to help institutions attract and educate a more diverse engineering workforce; second, to produce sufficient engineering graduates to support workforce needs in the face of declining birthrates and the diversification of the US population. This program is co-hosting a listening session with the National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Visioning Alliance to hear from to student voices, as well as a National Science Foundation-funded workshop, co-hosted with the National Academy of Engineering, to develop a framework of research-based strategies to for recruiting and retaining a more diverse spectrum of students in terms of pre-college preparation and opportunity. ASEE is also focusing on curriculum changes to keep pace with rapid technological change in the engineering workplace. The first effort, the Industry 4.0 Initiative, hosted a series of webinars and a summit on Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to reach a consensus on improvements to curricula, work-based experiences, policies, and practices that students need to compete in today’s workforce. The second effort is a National Science Foundation-funded task force studying the undergraduate engineering curriculum in the US to provide recommendations for updating how students are educated today. The final report of this initiative will be similar to the 1955 Grinter Report, which has heavily influenced engineering education in the US for the last seventy years. ASEE is engaged in additional efforts focused on diversity. ASEE’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion held a Year of Impact on Racial Equity in 2021-2022, focused on organizational change around increased awareness and action to dismantle racism. The ASEE Engineering Dean’s Council oversees the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program, created to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs. Recognition occurs at three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. ASEE has multiple programs to help engineering faculty stay current in the face of rapid change and to improve the quality of their teaching. The first is the Delta Workshop series which provides online training for future faculty, new faculty, junior faculty, department heads, and aspiring deans. ASEE’s National Science Foundation-funded Faculty Teaching Excellence Program is developing a framework to promote and recognize continuous improvement in the quality of engineering and engineering technology instruction. This initiative, currently in the planning stage, will provide faculty with personalized pathways for ongoing professional development training in topics of relevance to them, with levels of recognition for acquiring knowledge, demonstrating expertise, and engaging leadership in engineering education. ASEE’s efforts in each of these areas are designed to help its members and programs innovate and keep pace with the rapid changes impacting engineering and engineering education, as well as realize notable change in educating a more diverse engineering workforce.
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