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Preparing the Engineer of 2020 Lisa R. Lattuca and Patrick T. Terenzini Project Directors Presentation to the National Academy of Engineering Convocation of the Professional Engineering Societies May 7, 2007 Washington, D.C. Presentation Preview Origins of the NSF-funded “E2020” studies

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Preparing the Engineer of 2020Lisa R. Lattuca and Patrick T. TerenziniProject DirectorsPresentation to the National Academy of Engineering Convocation of the Professional Engineering SocietiesMay 7, 2007Washington, D.C.

presentation preview
Presentation Preview
  • Origins of the NSF-funded “E2020” studies
  • Overview of NAE’s The Engineer of 2020 Reports
  • An outline of the two studies
  • How the two studies are distinct but complementary
  • A glimpse at what we’re learning already
  • What we hope YOU can provide:

Questions, observations, ideas, suggestions, advice, resources or people in your societies -- anything that will help us get it right.

origins of the e2020 studies
Origins of the “E2020” Studies

Involvement of the Penn State Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) in engineering education:

1990-2000: Responsible for evaluation in the

ECSEL, one of the NSF-funded Engineering Education Coalitions

2002-2006: Completed ABET-sponsored, 40-institution study of the impact of the new outcomes-based accreditation criteria (EC2000).

the cast of characters
The Cast of Characters

Funding: The National Science Foundation

Division of Engineering Education and Centers

Divisionof Undergraduate Education

The E2020 Research Group:

Penn State:Thomas A. Litzinger, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Gül E. Kremer, Ass’t. Professor, Engineering Design; Industrial Engineering

City College :Ardie D. Walser, Dean of Undergrad Studies & Professor of Electrical Engineering

of NYLatif M. Jiji, Herbert G. Kayser Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Montana State: Sara Codd, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Univ. of Missouri: Rose M. Marra, Associate Professor, Learning Technologies

Northwestern: Ann F. McKenna, Research Ass’t. Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Educational Improvement

Lois C. Trautvetter, Ass’t. Professor & Assoc. Director, Higher Education,

Administration, and Policy

Montana State:Betsy Palmer, Assistant Professor of Education

national advisory board members
National Advisory Board Members

Alice M. AgoginoRoscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California at Berkeley

Norman L. FortenberryDirector, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering EducationNational Academy of Engineering

Mario J. GonzalezSouthwestern Bell Foundation Endowed Professor in Electrical Engineering, Emeritus The University of Texas at Austin

Linda Serra HagedornDepartment Chair and Professor, Educational Administration & PolicyUniversity of Florida

Wayne C. JohnsonVice President, University Relations WorldwideHewlett-Packard Company

Albert L. McHenryVice President, Exec. Vice Provost, & Professor, Electronics & Engineering TechnologyArizona State University Polytechnic

Sheri D. SheppardProfessor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford UniversitySenior Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

David N. Wormley

Dean of the College of Engineering & Professor of Mechanical Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

the engineer of 2020 reports in a nutshell
The Engineer of 2020 Reportsin a Nutshell

A vision of the contexts for engineering in 2020:

Technological (e.g., bio-tech, digital systems, computer systems/tools, sustainable technology, interdisciplinarity)

Societal, Global, and Professional (e.g., social, political & economic, diversity, multi-disciplinarity, global markets & contexts, interaction of engineering and public policy)

Attributes of the Engineer of 2020:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Practical ingenuity
  • Creativity
  • Communication competencies (oral, written, and cultural)
  • Business, management, and leadership skills
  • High ethical standards and professionalism
  • Agility, resilience, flexibility
the e2020 research projects
The E2020 Research Projects

Two studies linked by two shared questions:

  • What’s needed to produce the engineer of 2020?
  • What’s needed to diversify engineering education now and the profession in the future?

Organizational Context

Individual Student Experiences

Organizational Structures, Policies, and Practices



Academic and Co-Curricular Programs, Policies, and Practices



Curricular Experiences



The College Experience

Peer Environment

Student Precollege

Characteristics & Experiences

Sociodemographic traits

Academic preparation and performance

Personal and social experiences

E2020 Outcomes



Interdisciplinary Competence

Contextual Competence

(Terenzini and Reason, 2005)

prototype to production p2p conditions and processes for educating the engineer of 2020
Prototype to Production (P2P): Conditions and Processes forEducating the Engineer of 2020
  • Assess alignment of current program goals, curricula, and instruction and the attributes of NAE’s Engineer of 2020.

2. Understand how students develop the knowledge, technical, and professional skills of the engineer of 2020.

3. Understand how students decide to become engineers and perceive the profession.

4. Illuminate the experiences of women, low-income, and minority students in their engineering programs.

5. Identify the program and policy levers to produce the engineer of 2020 and to diversify the profession.

prototyping the engineer of 2020 a 360 degree study of effective education p360
Prototyping the Engineer of 2020: A 360-degree Study of Effective Education (P360)

Overarching Goal:

Identify the organizational, curricular, instructional, and cultural factors that produce graduates who look like the engineer of 2020 and attract under-represented students.

Three Focal E2020 Learning Outcomes:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Contextual competence
  • Interdisciplinary competence


Identify engineering schools currently out-performing others in:

  • producing graduates who closely resemble the engineer of 2020,
  • attracting and graduating under-represented students.
activities and linkages

Prototype to Production


Phase I: Instrument Development

and Pilot Testing

Phase II: Pilot Testing, Sampling, Recruitment of Institutions

Phase III: National Survey Administration


Prototyping the Engineer of 2020


Phase I: Data Mining and Case Study Site Identification

Phase II: Case Study Research (6)

Phase III: Validate Findings through National Study of Engineering Education

Phase IV: Analyses across cases and survey findings.

Activities and Linkages
current phase 1 activities
Current (Phase 1) Activities

P2P: Instrument Development

  • Site visits to City College, Penn State, Penn State Altoona, Hostos and Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges
  • Interview
    • faculty in engineering, math, and science, and
    • administrators of student support services and special programs.
  • Identify potential survey items.

P360: Data Mining and Planning

  • Use EC2000 Study data to:
    • refine and test ideas emerging from P2P interviews,
    • identify 6-8 high performing institutions for case studies.
  • Vet selections with National Advisory Board and others in summer of 2007.
what are we learning
What Are We Learning?

1. Academic Pathways

  • Families play a vital role, both positive and negative.
  • For working students, their work during college can:
    • Enhance learning (when the work engineering-related), or
    • Impede learning, when it (a) siphons time away from studies, or (b) prevents participation in out-of-class learning opportunities.
  • Curricular alignment between 2- and 4-year institutions opens doors.
  • Summer bridge and similar programs may aid recruitment and retention of under-represented students.
  • Community college students are highly heterogeneous. Transfer students differ from “native” students in their:
    • personal characteristics and experiences before college, and
    • experiences in engineering programs,
    • but may “catch-up”intheir level of skill development by end of their academic program.
what are we learning14
What Are We Learning?

2. Faculty Roles

Curricular Stewardship

  • Periodic review and assessment
  • Alignment of 2- and 4-year curricula
  • Infusion of key content and skills across courses and years

Teaching and Mentoring

  • Dramatic differences in perceptions of roles between 2- and 4-year faculty
  • Industry experience influences approaches to teaching
  • Greater emphasis on application
  • More hands-on activities and demonstrations
what are we learning15
What Are We Learning?

3. Promoting E2020 Attributes

  • Faculty attach varying levels of importance to globalization and leadership skills, and whether we can teach creativity.
  • Students lack understanding of the profession before – and even during – college.
    • Faculty don’t always convey the excitement of engineering practice.
    • Greater emphasis needed on applications.
    • Internships and Co-op Ed may be effective, but are not widespread.
  • Short-term international experiences may promote:
    • engineering skills, and
    • cultural competence.
  • Both peer and faculty interactions can build skills and professionalism (e.g., undergrad research, multi-year design teams).
  • Self-reflection and complex decision making are critical skills.
what it means for professional societies
What it means for Professional Societies?

Professional Societies can support

  • Student chapters at community colleges
  • Industry collaboration in internships and/or Co-op programs for talented, but disadvantaged students
  • High school programs to identify and alert well-prepared but disadvantaged students to various paths into engineering
  • Funding for 2- and 4-year curricular collaborations and training for K-12 and community college teachers.
  • Community college programs that bring disadvantaged students up-to-speed in math and sciences
  • Scholarships for bridge programs to provide access to high school students who are capable, but not financially able
implications for professional societies
Implications for Professional Societies?

Other possibilities?

  • Participate in the interpretation of study findings
  • Contribute to the national dialogue (through society meetings, newsletters, etc.)
  • Facilitate and support development of industry-university collaborations
  • Other ideas?
more information
More Information?

Lisa Lattuca

(814) 865-9754

Pat Terenzini

(814) 865-9755

For updates:


Prototyping and Producing of the Engineer of 2020Lisa R. Lattuca and Patrick T. TerenziniProject DirectorsPresentation to the National Academy of Engineering Convocation of the Professional Engineering SocietiesMay 7, 2007Washington, D.C.