There have been many calls for a paradigm shift in educating engineers to meet the challenges of a new century. This shift requires changing the societal understanding of engineering to attract a more diverse talent pool, revitalizing education from K-12 through College, and infusing innovation and entrepreneurship into the curriculum.
The new century ushered in an information explosion, global competition, the need for rapid and continuous innovation, entrepreneurship and a diverse workforce, and life-long learning. Addressing these challenges requires a fundamental shift in the way we explain what engineering is to the general public, how we recruit to the profession and how we educate students. The ASEE Middle Atlantic Regional Conference addresses these issues by hosting workshops with experts who can offer unique insights.
Any fundamental shift in the paradigm should start early in the educational process with a change in societal understanding of engineering. The conference explores this idea by having a workshop on, “Prospect on K-12 Engineering Education and Public Understanding of Engineering" led by B. Cady and G. Pearson, of the National Academy of Engineering. The same participants will also lead another workshop on “Trends in Engineering and Engineering Technology Education and Employment.”
Higher educational institutions are key agents of change in educating and training new engineers. This conference discusses institutional responsibilities and will include two workshops on “Diversifying Faculty,” and, “Enhancing the Climate in Undergraduate Engineering" by D. Chubin, Senior Fellow at Georgia Center for Educational Renewal.
The increasingly rapid implementation of new technologies requires engineers to adapt to, and excel in global competition, with continuous innovation and entrepreneurship. Startups and new industries seek employees with an innovation mind-set that many say they are not currently acquiring in many engineering curricula. The April 8th keynote speaker will address, ”Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering Curricula.” the speaker is J. Chung, Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at George Washington University, and a Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF Innovation Corps Node in Washington DC (DC I-Corps).
For any major change in engineering education to to occur nationally there is a need for a centralized agency to offer guidance to all parties involved. National Science Foundation (NSF) is taking the lead through its close relationships with faculty, researchers, and higher educational institutions. Our keynote speaker on April 9th, Dr. M. Rotea, will share his experience as a NSF Division Director, Engineering Education and Centers.
To support this general theme we have organized nine sessions on the following topics.