This poster presents our plans to revolutionize the undergraduate learning environment in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering (CBEE) at Oregon State University. While we currently provide students many innovative learning opportunities, we are concerned that the extent to which these efforts are marginalized and isolated may deter from their influence. To address this issue, we plan to create a holistic, inclusive, professionally-based learning environment woven through both the curricular requirements and the co-curricular opportunities. We seek to catalyze change through construction of a culture of inclusion and a shift in our learning environments from sequestered activities to realistic, consequential work. This requires a fundamental change in the nature of department culture (values, norms and structure).
Planned activities include: (1) curricular redesign of 9 core sophomore- and junior-level studio classes to include more realistic, consequential work leveraging research-based pedagogies like problem-based learning and model-eliciting activities; (2) growing faculty and students’ capacity to engage issues of inclusivity by shifting their cognitive and affective knowledge of power and privilege; (3) planning and implementing student professional development pods, longitudinally mixed student teams where students help one another understand the university experience and how it relates to professional practice; and (4) implementing formal changes in governing policies and procedures within CBEE.
This work is supported by the NSF Engineering (ENG) Directorate as part of a multi-year initiative, the Professional Formation of Engineers, to create and support an innovative and inclusive engineering profession for the 21st Century.