ERIC Number: ED449974
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Growing Pains: An Evaluation of the SUCCEED Coalition.
Brawner, Catherine E.; Serow, Robert C.
The SUCCEED coalition, one of the NSF Engineering Education Coalitions, was founded on a vision in which all engineering graduates will possess not only highly developed technical skills, but also the attitudes and awareness needed to prosper in the contemporary workplace. This vision manifested itself within SUCCEED by the development of curriculum innovations for undergraduate engineering education. These innovations were introduced on an experimental basis initially at the member campuses with the long term intention of subsequently exporting successful ones beyond the coalition membership. This paper presents findings from a qualitative evaluation of the first five years of operation of the SUCCEED coalition. During this time, SUCCEED was engaged in start-up activities and experimentation with various approaches to curricular reform. During the first five years, the coalition's primary goal was to implement, evaluate, and disseminate Curriculum 21, which was not a prescribed sequence of courses but a statement of principles for undergraduate education. Among these principles were the integration of engineering with other subjects, the enhancement of performance skills, the infusion of engineering practice into coursework, the provision of multidisciplinary team experiences, and the incorporation of information and communications technology into the classroom. Along with curriculum reform, SUCCEED was also committed to three other goals: adopting Total Quality Management principles on a coalition-wide basis; increasing retention rates, especially among women and students from underrepresented minority groups; and promoting outreach to secondary schools and community colleges. This paper reflects the findings of an ongoing evaluation of the first through fifth years of the coalition's existence. In it, we show that SUCCEED made substantial, but incomplete progress toward the accomplishment of its goals. Much progress was made toward curriculum reform especially in the areas of increased access to technology, early exposure to engineering, horizontal integration of coursework, vertical integration, and real-world work skills. Questions remain as to whether these successful programs can be institutionalized and exported to other campuses. There is also an ongoing concern about the institutional rewards structure as it relates to participation in educational reform initiatives, particularly at the large, research-oriented institutions in the coalition. This paper should benefit those who are considering forming a similar coalition as well as those who might be called upon to evaluate its success. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 17-20, 1998).