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ASU Offers New, Innovative Engineering Degree Program at Polytechnic campus


November 22, 2004

MESA, Ariz. - As Arizona State University transitions its Polytechnic campus in Mesa to a polytechnic campus, more professional and technical programs will be added that fit the mission of the new direction for the campus. One of the first new programs to be offered at the campus in fall 2005 is the nationally unique Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) program.

"This new program offers students a flexible foundation that crosses the traditional discipline-specific boundary lines in engineering," said Dr. Chell Roberts, chair of the Department of Engineering in the College of Technology and Innovation at the campus. "Students will learn engineering through discovery-based problems and projects."

In most engineering programs in the United States, students typically select one of the engineering disciplines, such as aeronautical, civil, mechanical, or biomedical, as their major, explained Roberts. Once a student selects a major, almost all of the engineering course work lies in that field of study.

The engineering projects in the new B.S.E. program integrate different engineering disciplines. Beginning in their freshman year, students in the B.S.E. program will work on collaborative projects every semester. The projects are supported by a curriculum that packages multiple engineering topics into learning modules.

"In traditional programs, the dominant student experience is sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture and then doing homework individually. While the graduates of such programs have been and will continue to be successful, many talented people who would make great engineers just don't do well in that educational environment," said Roberts.

"In our program, lecture halls will be replaced by engineering studios and lectures replaced by hands-on learning activities. This new interactive learning environment provides students the opportunity to develop analytical skills, while emphasizing the creative aspects of engineering, teamwork and communication.

"Every national study of engineering education in the United States during the past 20 years has recognized the need for engineers who have strong communication and teamwork, as well as engineering, skills," said Roberts. "These combined skills will be vitally important in the highly competitive global economy of the 21st century."

For more information about the program or to attend an open house, contact Dr. Roberts at (480) 727-2727, e-mail the department at engr@asu.edu, or visit the department Web page at www.east.asu.edu/ctas/engineering.