A Proven Model to Re-Engineer Engineering Education in Partnership with Industry

Engineering educators have been searching for models to reform the engineering curriculum to better respond to stakeholders’ needs, especially those who hire engineers. Many attempts have been done around the world but with relatively little impact on the way engineering is taught. Like most higher education, the education process is focused more on the teacher than in the learner. This paper focuses on describing the Learning Factory model’s key elements for successful revamping of engineering curricula to better respond to stakeholders’ needs and complying with ABET’s accreditation criteria. This active learning engineering curriculum innovation undertaken by Penn State University (PSU), University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and University of Washington (UW), in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories was recognized by the US National Academy of Engineering in 2006, granting the Bernard M. Gordon Award. The paper includes several cases in which the model has been adopted or adapted and proposes the development of two new curriculum options adopting the LF model: one in the area of IT and Sustainability, and the other with the newly launched HP Institute. Finally, the paper shares lessons learned as well as recommends essential roadmap/steps that can be considered when engaging in the task of curriculum innovation,

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