One of the hallmarks of modern times is the acceptance of accelerating change, both in technological products and in educational philosophies. Few college graduates function today solely with the skills and understanding that they gained in formal degree programs.
Recognizing that the graduates of the College of Engineering will pursue their careers in an ever changing world, the overall mission of the College is to provide a broad education in the fundamentals of engineering while providing opportunities for specialization in selected areas that meet the needs of our constituents.
An important corollary is the development of the ability to think logically, creatively, and quantitatively, and the skills necessary to effectively communicate both fundamental and applied knowledge. This unified approach provides an inherently flexible base that permits undergraduates to fill general or specialized positions in industry, government, and private practice or to pursue advanced degrees after graduation.
The mission of the graduate program is:
- to provide a broadly based, interdisciplinary degree program for engineering students to support the needs of existing businesses and industries and to promote state, regional and national economic development
- to provide a means for bachelor’s degree graduates in engineering to obtain additional college-level credits and/or a master’s degree in instances where this is required for professional licensure
The goal is to provide an educational experience focusing on the knowledge and technical skills of advanced engineering and business management that will allow program graduates to be successful in engineering, manufacturing, and other high-tech organizations.
All ASU engineering seniors are required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination and have historically had pass rates well above state and national averages, in part due to a healthy emphasis on common engineering fundamentals and practical design skills in ASU engineering courses. A significant percentage of our graduates go on to take and pass the Principles of Engineering (PE) examination and become licensed professional engineers a few years after graduation after they have satisfied the prerequisite experience criteria. Most engineering employers consider having passed the FE and subsequent professional engineering registration a major plus in hiring and promotion decisions. The college's emphasis on professionalism is also enhanced through active student branches of engineering professional societies such as ASCE, ASME, IEEE, NSBE, and SME and participation of student teams in competitive events.
Continuation of Learning
The College has always been committed to graduate education for appropriately qualified and interested student. Numerous ASU engineering graduates have gone on to obtain master and doctoral degrees. ASU engineering faculty members have actively mentored many students with the goal of graduate education and have provided many with undergraduate research, scholarship, and other professional opportunities. All reports have been that ASU engineering graduates have performed exceedingly well in both the classroom and research laboratories of other institutions' graduate programs. As ASU rapidly expands its slate of graduate programs, including doctoral programs such as the current multidisciplinary Ph.D. in Environmental Science (in which some engineering faculty and graduate students are already active), the College of Engineering has added the Master of Engineering Management and will be proposing other master degree programs in the future, as a supplement to our mission of excellent undergraduate education.
The engineering faculty members have a variety of backgrounds, experience, and expertise. Faculty members hold Ph.D. degrees from some of the nation’s most prestigious engineering universities, and over 80% are registered professional engineers. The faculty have been active in a wide variety of basic and applied research areas including risk assessment and hazardous wastes, structural analysis and design, hydrology and water resources, transportation and geotechnical, electrical and power systems, semiconductor and optoelectronic materials and devices, analog and digital electronics, computational mechanics in fluids and aerodynamics, and vibrations and sensors of all types. Most have been externally funded through state and federal agencies or industry.
The emphasis on research and scholarship is increasing as the university itself is in the process of enhancing its research mission and capabilities. The College has always supported the research, scholarship, professional consulting, and professional development of its faculty and their synergism with instructional and programmatic goals. It has particularly encouraged the active involvement of undergraduate research assistants. Many of these have also served as presenters and coauthors on presentations and/or publications, have been awarded student research grants and fellowships, and gone on to graduate school.
The ASU engineering faculty has always had excellent working relationships with regional business, industry, and agriculture, frequently serving as consultants to such. These commercial operations greatly value the availability and service of the faculty and benefit from their high-level knowledge and experience. They reciprocate through donations to the university, hiring ASU engineering students as interns or employees, providing seminar speakers and part-time adjunct faculty, having their employees take engineering courses, serving as partners on proposals and grants funded by state and federal agencies, and providing input to the college, for example through industrial representatives on the college's Engineering Advisory Council. The College also recognizes the powerful benefits that such consulting and applied research activities have to the quality and relevance of the instruction provided its students and in the establishment of their contacts in professional arenas. The College of Engineering has also always had good relationships with regional public schools and junior colleges and both recruits from and provides occasional technical information for these institutions.
The College actively strives to maintain an environment highly conducive to excellence in instruction and learning. There is a firm commitment to manageable class sizes and direct interaction between faculty and students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Two-way class discussions, grading of homework, working of problems in class, generous faculty office hours, and afternoon help sessions are just some of the ways in which this pleasant, effective learning environment is fostered. All faculty members get to know most students in all of the engineering programs on a first name basis. There is also a strong multidisciplinary flavor to the program in that all students have to take a common core of engineering courses and are exposed to different perspectives from professors in the different programs. On the other hand, the College also recognizes that there are significant differences, as well as broad commonalities, among the different programs and supports considerable autonomy and self-definition by the respective program directors and their faculty and students
The Welfare of All Constituents
The College is also firmly committed to the welfare of all of its constituents including students, staff, graduates, faculty, and all of their families. The faculty believes strongly in the cherished university tenets of academic freedom, shared governance, consensus-building, fully earned tenure and promotions, and responsible, competitive compensation and benefits. Faculty members are actively involved in the decision-making process through both committee and individual input, and students and staff also are given opportunity for input in appropriate cases. The College recognizes that diversity in background, capabilities, and personal and professional objectives of its faculty, staff, and students is a strength and not a weakness, just as the university does through its diversity program. Thus, the College does not attempt to mold everyone to the same pattern and advocates strong flexibility in each faculty member charting his or her own course. As stated explicitly in promotion and tenure criteria overseen by senior faculty, the College recognizes that different faculty will excel in different areas among the set of teaching, research, and service and should be allowed to emphasize the area(s) in which they excel. It also recognizes that as faculty transition between different stages in their life and academic career, goals and emphases may change.
With the pace of change accelerating, the College must look ahead to the future while continuing to emphasize its core values and competitive advantages. The College has undergone extensive self-evaluation over the last few years, in part fueled by the assessment and continuous improvement process required by ABET and the recent administrative and mission changes at the university level. The following are a set of short-to-intermediate term (1-5 years) goals of the College, with several already in process:
- Reaccreditation by ABET of the BSE program and accreditation of the BSCE, BSEE, and BSME programs
- Further refinement of the assessment and continuous improvement plans for the BS programs based upon the ABET 2000 criteria
- Implementation and further development of the Master of Engineering Management into a quality program meeting the needs of constituents
- Increased emphasis on recruiting and retaining well-prepared students for the BS programs
- Increased emphasis on attracting international students to the BS and MEM programs
- Study the need for establishing additional bachelor and master degree programs in engineering
- Continuing enhancement of the infrastructure, support, equipment, and reward for both applied and basic research activities by college faculty and an increase in faculty research productivity and scholarship, within the constraints of faculty interests, time, and resources
- Further improvement in the pass rate of ASU engineering students on the Fundamentals of Engineering examination, as well as general student academic performance and retention
- Addition of 1-2 faculty members in each program of the college and study how additional space may be acquired
- Develop plans for a capital campaign for the College with focus on building and infrastructure needs, laboratory equipment, endowed faculty positions, scholarships, and graduate fellowships
- Implementation of a differential tuition plan for the College, use funds primarily for hiring and retention of a superior engineering faculty and maintaining the necessary specialized instructional laboratories and equipment
- Continuing enhancement of the college's instructional and research
- instrumentation, computer resources, and facilities through annual infrastructure and capital funding
- Further enhancement of secondary student services and activities including student branches of professional societies, student competitions, seminars, internships, other exposure to practicing engineers, and assistance in the process of searching for a job
The College of Engineering is poised for ongoing development and service to its constituents. It looks forward to the support of the university, community, and profession in the years ahead as it strives to bridge between a highly successful past and new opportunities for the future in a manner that benefits all constituents.