Rose-Hulman Partnering to Lead NSF-Sponsored Initiative to Improve Engineering Education

Friday, July 17, 2020
Images of Julia Williams, Sriram Mohan and Eva Andrijcic participating in a MACH conference.

Rose-Hulman professors have conducted National Science Foundation-sponsored workshops and research activities to encourage the implementation of new approaches to engineering and computer engineering education.

The National Science Foundation has once again sought expertise from Rose-Hulman faculty to further encourage change within engineering departments throughout America.

Rose-Hulman and the University of Washington are sharing a $620,095 grant as part of NSF’s Research in the Formation of Engineers Design and Development program. Both institutions will collaborate on a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments Participatory Action Research (REDPAR) partnership that links faculty academic change agents with research on the impact of contextual factors impacting academic change projects and the diffusion of change tactics.

Since 2015 NSF grants have supported the implementation of new approaches to engineering and computer engineering education at 22 U.S. colleges and universities through the Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program. Changes to engineering education are needed in order to respond to 21st century technical and social challenges.

Rose-Hulman REDPAR project coordinator Julia Williams, professor of English, states, “While the need for systemic change in STEM higher education is clear, it has also proven difficult to achieve in a sustainable manner. Even when one department or institution has success with a change project, these changes might not be adopted by other institutions, resulting in small-scale rather than systemic changes.”

Assisting in leading the project are Eva Andrijcic, associate professor of engineering management, and Sriram Mohan, associate professor of computer science and software engineering. They have been actively involved in Rose-Hulman’s Making Academic Change Happen (MACH) program, which has helped faculty, graduate students, and administrators who are working to make change on their campuses.

NSF has recognized the work of Rose-Hulman’s MACH team and University of Washington’s Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity three times since 2015.