- 2:15 PM
68e

"Tracks" for Specialization within a Che Education

Valerie L. Young, Darin Ridgway, and Michael Prudich. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio University, 172 Stocker Center, Athens, OH 45701

The "Call for Papers" noted the tension between the desire to prepare our students to deal with molecular-level processes beyond "traditional" chemical engineering, and pressure from state government to reduce total credit hours. In addition, chemical engineering seems to be losing undergraduate majors to "early specialization" in fields such as Bioengineering and Environmental Engineering. How can we communicate to our prospective freshmen that a chemical engineering education prepares you for these "hot topics" and for the ones that haven't emerged yet? Chemical engineering at its core teaches molecular and macroscopic processes that are fundamental to bio-, environmental, and materials engineering. Typically, chemical engineering degree programs also accept a wider variety of technical courses than other engineering programs, allowing the enterprising student to build a specialization within the standard degree. In this presentation, we will describe how Ohio University formally recognizes and facilitates such specialization by providing "tracks" within the chemical engineering major. The presentation will show how the tracks are structured and how the information about specialization is recognized on the student's academic record, and show the student response to the idea.