INNOVATING IN EDUCATION
In an increasingly competitive career landscape, engineering graduates are finding that it takes more than just meeting the standard curriculum requirements to prepare for the future.
College leaders aim to ensure the preeminence of a Michigan Engineering education by empowering faculty to innovate teaching methods and tools, online and professional education, and experiential learning – and by helping students navigate the beyond-the-classroom experiences that are already available at Michigan.
“We want all students to find ways to become immersed in experiential learning,” said Joanna Millunchick, associate dean for undergraduate education, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and a professor of materials science and engineering who is co-lead of the College’s Education Pillar. “But rather than falling into something serendipitously, we want them to be intentional as they practice their purpose – and to be able to articulate the story of their accomplishments to potential employers.”
As part of an initiative called Immersed, the process will make it easier for students to navigate the myriad options, and for faculty to bolster experiential learning as part of for-credit classes.
Another area of innovation includes new funding opportunities for faculty to propose novel approaches to teaching that could have broad impact across the College. Millunchick believes faculty could introduce ideas beyond the current imagination if given the support.
Technology is getting so advanced that it’s not feasible for any one person to be an expert on everything. We want this to be a fertile ground so people with ideas can innovate more quickly.Joanna Millunchick
Associate dean for undergraduate education
Grants for innovation in online graduate education are also available through the College, and have already funded new ideas, such as a MasterTrack Certificate in Construction Management and Engineering developed by civil and environmental engineering faculty. This type of innovation is what the College will expand upon through Nexus, a College-wide unit for online and professional education, newly formed to enable faculty innovation and serve a diverse, global community of students. Nexus is set to launch two new educational initiatives for the College in 2020: a 400-hour Cybersecurity Bootcamp and an online University-wide Mobility certificate, in collaboration with several units across campus such as the Ford School of Public Policy, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Law School.
“We aim to support faculty innovation,” explained Mary-Ann Mycek, associate dean for graduate and professional education, a professor of biomedical engineering and co-lead of the Education Pillar. “Nexus will be ‘always on’ – on campus, online, and on location – and will provide faculty with instructional design support to develop new online programs and provide platforms for lifelong learning.”
With more than 65 graduate degree programs, including five online Master’s degree programs and 16 graduate certificates, the College of Engineering offers extensive top-ranked graduate educational opportunities. Recent interdisciplinary curricular innovations include a new Data Science Master’s degree program and Computational Neuroscience certificate program, among others. Courses that integrate digital technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will further enhance the learning experience.
We will build on what Michigan Engineering currently offers by opening the door wider for people around the world to benefit from the depth and breadth of the educational resources available.Mary-Ann Mycek
Associate dean for graduate and professional education
The Education Pillar has also launched an initiative focused on enhancing the student experience. Engineering graduate students with financial need in pursuit of professional development experiences are now able to apply to the Graduate Student Co-curricular Experiences Fund.
To Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, the Education Pillar is beginning to achieve results that will set the course of the College for years to come. But it is only the beginning. For example, the possibilities for delivery of the Michigan Engineering education around the globe are limitless.
“Michigan Engineering 2020 is just the start,” said Gallimore, who is also Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor of Engineering and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. “We’re already beginning to consider, ‘What will happen in the five years after that?’”
ME2020 Education Pillar Strategic Planning Committee launches
Grants for innovation
Innovation in Online Graduate Education launches
Launch of committees continues
Additional ME2020 Education Pillar Strategic Planning committees
Committee submits recommendations
Certificate in Construction Engineering & Management opens for enrollment
Experiential learning funding
New opportunities for first-generation and middle income undergraduate students with financial need
Graduate student funding
Graduate Student Co-curricular Funding applications open
Experiential learning Framework
Faculty survey, interviews and round tables with students, faculty and staff about an undergraduate experiential learning framework
Plans for Immersed experiential learning website announced to faculty/staff
New College-wide online and professional education unit launches
First educational innovation accelerator grants awarded
XR in education grants
First Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality Clinic grants awarded
Experiential learning website
Immersed website launched to students
C.A.R.E. (Consultation, Assistance, and Resources in Engineering) Center launches
New Cybersecurity Bootcamp
Bootcamp for professionals in southeastern Michigan to launch
First online, multidisciplinary Michigan Mobility Credential with potential application towards university credits to launch