The purpose of this engineering education CAREER proposal is to develop and test a theory of the development of interdisciplinary work ability in the context of graduate education in engineering. The motivation for this research is the increasing globalization and international competition, which drive renewed efforts to prepare adaptable engineers who can work in interdisciplinary environments.
This research will use a survey to understand and ultimately accelerate adoption of proven engineering education innovations. The survey of 1,727 department heads, 271 academic deans, and 28 professional society leaders will test 14 hypotheses related to 8 engineering education innovations. Diffusion of Innovations theory, which emphasizes stages of the adoption process and the importance of social networks, will guide this research.
The IDEAS program: Increasing Diversity through Engineering Academic Scholarships increases the numbers of diverse students enrolling in and graduating from the College of Engineering (CoE). In keeping with the University's Strategic Plan, and the 3 year plan developed by the Dean of the College of Engineering, the IDEAS program targets first year students; specifically African American, Hispanic, and Native American (URM students) freshman and transfer students of all ethnicities.