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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Jennifer N Karlin
  • (507) 389-1095
Award Date:11/08/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 340,861
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 340,861
  • FY 2015=$340,861
Start Date:08/01/2017
End Date:08/31/2019
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Understanding the Role of Credentialing in Promoting and Sustaining Innovative Engineering Practices
Federal Award ID Number:1759827
DUNS ID:053423133
Parent DUNS ID:064754757
Program Officer:
  • Julie Martin
  • (703) 292-8657

Awardee Location

Street:Research and Sponsored Programs
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Minnesota State University, Mankato
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

The way engineers are educated must constantly evolve as the world context and the technologies evolve. While there are many successful efforts by individuals and small groups, large-scale curricular changes are key to maintaining these successes. Earlier data collected and analyzed by this team shows that one of the barriers to large-scale curricular change is understanding how to credential innovative educational practices, particularly those practices that do not take place in a traditional, lecture-oriented classroom. Credentialing is an important mark for students looking for quality education programs as well as employers looking for quality graduates. This study uses the real experiences of engineering degree programs that are innovative across their curriculum to learn how they navigated the credentialing processes. The impact of the work is to determine pathways to turn the use of credentialing as a barrier to better engineering education into a lever for getting more engineering programs to make large-scale innovations. Even when engineering curricular changes are systemic, earlier data collected by this team shows that credentialing is a key, though often misunderstood or not explicitly acknowledged, barrier to real, sustainable improvement to engineering education practice. Communication across implementation levels (e.g., course, curriculum, university credentialing) and their research to practice cycles is not straightforward, even though it is necessary to produce sustainable change in engineering education. Therefore, the goal of this research is to answer: What gaps exist and how do we bridge innovative curricular/pedagogical initiatives and credentialing at the institutional, federal, and accreditation levels? Data collection and analysis in years 1 and 2 will allow the team to explore and describe the role credentialing plays in sustainable engineering education change. The research team and advisory board will address ways to expand the research-to-practice cycle so that university-level infrastructure is included. The team will broadly disseminate the results via Implementation Workshops that will include faculty, administrators and staff, as well as through traditional publications and conferences. This work will: 1) Explore the role credentialing plays in sustainable engineering curricular change from multiple viewpoints, including faculty, academic administrators, registrar and financial aid staff, accreditors, and others; 2) Expand the research to practice cycle to include the infrastructure within which both the research and the practice occur; and 3) Develop and disseminate materials to inform change agents so they can increase the efficacy of their credentialing efforts. The results of the project include: a model of change that recognizes the potential infrastructure barriers to innovation in engineering education, materials for university change agents to help them navigate the credentialing process, and increased understanding of how to support and sustain long term change in engineering education.

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