Breaking Boundaries with Liberal Studies in Engineering
Author(s)Bucciarelli, Louis; Drew, David E.
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It has been three years since we held a workshop in Washington D.C to explore possibilities for establishing an innovative undergraduate degree program - a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies in Engineering - that would provide an alternate, smoother pathway into engineering. In this paper, we argue that to prepare engineering graduates for today’s world, requires a grounding of students learning in the more open, reflective tradition of the liberal arts. A Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies in Engineering, through an integration of engineering and the liberal arts, is meant to accomplish this objective. We explain why this program is needed, the boundaries that challenge implementation, and the problems encountered (in colleges and universities we have visited as part of an NSF-funded feasibility study) in attempting to break with tradition in both the liberal arts and engineering to fuse new, much- needed connections.
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