Focus Area 3

Research, Curriculum and Course Development

We shall develop and implement strategies that promote diversity competence across the curriculum to prepare students to engineer solutions in a dynamic and global economy. 

Infusing diversity, equity and social justice into our curriculum with early adoption of pedagogical innovations that will position our students to be leaders in the field requires a review of the current curriculum and a commitment of resources to carry out the changes. Using the recommendations from alumni, students, staff and Racial Justice Curriculum Task Force members outlined the creation of an instructional Community of Practice (AU 2023) to ensure curriculum review across engineering while providing the necessary professional development for faculty to appropriately incorporate social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion into the existing curriculum. Members of the task force also developed a new course for 2022-2023 focused on social justice in engineering.

2020 -2021 Actions Taken:

Action Step 3.1

We shall organize a College of Engineering task force charged with the responsibility to enhance existing and create a new course(s) that are inclusive of social justice and diversity-enriched topics, examples, or modules at the unit level.

  •  A task force with representation from all engineering programs in addition to leadership from Arts Sciences, faculty from the Math and Physics departments. The group will brainstorm, research and share ideas for addressing these issues with curricular elements. All components of the required curriculum will be reviewed including pre-requisites, major courses, electives and general education requirements. The task force will focus on enhancing the learning experiences that promote diversity competence in curricular activities as well as creating a new engineering course that examines the history of the field from a social justice point of view.
  • A new course Social Justice and Engineering was approved for 2022-2023  that examines the history of the field from a social justice point of view. 

Action Step 3.2

We shall standardize and audit undergraduate research opportunities to increase access and participation across underrepresented groups.

  • An online platform has been created to increase access and awareness of undergraduate research opportunities in engineering. The tool has just been rolled out for faculty to begin adding their information with plans to make available for students to use mid-semester.

Future Actions: The creation of a community of practice will give voice and provide clear direction on how to integrate diversity, equity and social justice into the curriculum. The group will build faculty competencies within each department to provide guidance on creating inclusive classroom spaces, educate faculty on culturally inclusive pedagogies and equitable assessment and grading practices.

Key Performance Indicators: (1) Community of Practice created with representation from across the College of Engineering (2) increase in the number of instructional faculty that have participated in Drake Institute for teaching and Learning workshops

Resources Allocated: College of Engineering has committed funds to support at least 12 faculty with a stipend to participate in Community of Practice focused on social justice and equity in engineering.    

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