A Holistic Approach to Transforming Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Education


Our diverse team of educators at Colorado State University are redefining what it means to teach and learn in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Supported by a five-year “RED” grant from the National Science Foundation, we are, in effect, throwing away courses to overcome the challenges of the current engineering educational system. Approaching the degree from a holistic perspective, we no longer view our program as a set of disparate courses taught by autonomous (and isolated) faculty, but as an integrated system that fosters collaboration among faculty and students. This paper describes our new organizational and pedagogical model, which emphasizes knowledge integration and interweaves thematic content threads throughout the curriculum. We also share our process for implementing the new approach, along with the successes and challenges that we have experienced along the way. Through this project, we strive to become a catalyst for change in engineering education.

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