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ECE Redefines Program Educational Objectives and Primary Constituencies

ECE Redefines Program Educational Objectives and Primary Constituencies

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has announced a formal redefinition of the program educational objectives and program constituencies for both the electrical (EE) and computer engineering (CP) undergraduate majors.

The Department’s two undergraduate programs are guided by a set of Program Educational Objectives (PEOs).  The PEOs are determined by the needs of the programs’ constituents and designed to be in harmony with the Department's mission statement.  PEOs focus on what is expected of a program’s graduates early in their careers, specifically, within 3-5 years after graduation.

Success in achieving the PEOs is regularly evaluated by soliciting feedback from alumni, employers, ECE faculty, and other program constituents.  Representatives from each program’s constituencies are also involved in re-evaluating and recommending revisions to the PEOs. 

These activities constitute just one component of the Department’s commitment to continuous improvement in undergraduate education.  In addition, all of these efforts directly support accreditation, of both the electrical and computer undergraduate programs, under the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, Inc.

In 2009, ECE held a constituent retreat to review and revise the PEOs for both undergraduate programs.  Attended by students, alumni, leaders from industry, and faculty, the retreat was a great success.  The participants drafted new PEOs designed to take the undergraduate programs in new and exciting directions.  The proposed PEOs were distilled and refined during the 2010-2011 academic year by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee.  Finally, the new PEOs were discussed by the Department Council and ECE Advisory Board before being approved by the ECE faculty on May 20, 2011.

New Program Educational Objectives (for both EE and CP)

  1. Technical Accomplishments: Have our graduates establish a reputation for technical expertise and excellence among colleagues and achieve professional recognition for their work, in graduate or professional school and/or the technical workforce.

  2. Invention, Innovation, and Creativity: Have our graduates utilize their skills and resourcefulness to invent, design and realize novel technology; to find creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems; and to identify, research and solve new technical challenges in electrical engineering and related fields.

  3. Professional Development: Have our graduates stay abreast of emerging technologies, continually learn new skills, and actively participate in professional communities to nourish ever-developing careers.

  4. Professionalism & Citizenship: Have our graduates embrace cultural, societal, environmental, and ethical issues in their work to help fulfill their professional responsibilities to themselves, employers, employees, co-workers, and the local and global communities.

  5. Communication & Teamwork: Have our graduates excel on multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, demonstrate leadership, and effectively employ their oral and written communication skills to resolve problems and inform, educate and persuade diverse audiences.

Constituencies

The primary constituencies with an interest in or needs satisfied by the EE undergraduate program are:

  1. Undergraduate EE students
  2. ECE Faculty
  3. EE Alumni
  4. Local, state, and national employers of electrical engineers
  5. Relevant Graduate and Professional Programs for EE
  6. The Public

(NOTE: Only the EE constituencies are listed here. CP has a similar set.)

Input is regularly solicited from each constituency with representatives from each group being integrated in different ways into the decision making processes that impacts the EE undergraduate program. The first five constituencies are essentially the same as previously defined by the Department, though there has been a refinement in the understanding of the needs of each of these groups.  The sixth constituency is new.

As a formally recognized group, the Public was added to the ECE constituency list with the May 20, 2011 PEOs vote.  Understood in its many different senses, the Public encompasses local, state, regional, national, and international communities.  However, for purposes of generating PEO feedback, this constituency is primarily focused at the local, state, and regional level. 

The interests and needs of the Public as they pertain to the EE program include: advancing the public health, safety, and well-being through technological developments; innovative advocacy of the public interest through effective communication and active engagement with relevant communities and cultures; engineers who are technically competent and prepared to fulfill their professional responsibilities and obligations to society; and enhanced economic development. 

More information about ECE undergraduate programs can be found on the Department’s website, located at www.ece.umd.edu.

August 2, 2011


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