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Integration of Engineering Academic Programs into a Single Curriculum through Educational Cycles

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  028011,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9240) @2002
Authors:   Marco T. Arellano
Keywords:   Curriculum assessment, Curriculum design methodology, Engineering education, Engineering education cycles, Unified engineering career proposal

Engineering is a multidisciplinary profession serving an increasing demand for competent engineers in varied fields of specialization. Efforts to meet such requirements have contributed to a large range of separate academic programs being offered. Undergraduate curricula, pursuing early specialization, have had pernicious effects regarding the scope and knowledge demanded by each course, on employment, research, and engineering consolidation as a sole profession. Particularized undergraduate career curricula are not a substitute for practice and graduate studies, which are by far the most appropriate means for engineers to acquire specialized skills. Along with labor market and industrys need for highly-skilled engineers, there also is the demand for lower rank professionals at auxiliary and assistant or intermediate level. The university has limited itself to the higher levels of scientific and technological teaching, while an extensive system of technical schools attends to intermediate levels. There are neither links nor continued and progressive education criteria among programs, institutions or courses, to structure the higher education sector as a well-articulated and coherent system. Two meaningful objectives orientate the development of this proposal: To design an engineering curriculum to nurse the varied undergraduate academic programs into a single one, and to develop the curriculum in three integrated cycles of engineering learning and competence acquisition: Auxiliary, Assistant, and Bachelor cycles.

Preliminary analysis of several curricula shows close affinities among most engineering careers technical and scientific courses and an almost identical composition in basic sciences, in analysis, design, and engineering systems, and in the humanities and social studies. Course selection and setting to mould a well-articulated, sound career program will respond to pre-established curriculum planning principles.

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