Integrated Engineering Programs at R1 Schools

The integrated program IMPULSE at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has been widely successful, so much so that it has been institutionalized and is now required for all first-year engineering students. But UMD is notably smaller than MSU. At a big school, we have different design and implementation problems. What issues does an R1 school face for institutionalizing an integrated program?

  • Class size: over 1000 entering freshman, huge lecture hall sessions
  • Multiple teachers lecturing the same course: increased number of faculty needing to attend the necessary weekly curriculum planning meetings
  • Teaching assistants: smaller schools may not need to employ teaching assistants to the degree that MSU does; for example, Computer Science 101 has 80 TA’s (20 graduate students and 60 undergraduates)
  • Incoming and outgoing students: how do we accomodate students who enter the program late or leave the program after a year? How does an integrated program translate in credits toward a different program?

As I see more problems emerging, I am going to add them to this list of dilemmas we will be facing.

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