Enhancing Integrated Learning in Engineering Societies, Teams and Clubs: Case Study of the Maier Student Leadership Program

Enhancing Integrated Learning in Engineering Societies, Teams and Clubs: Case Study of the Maier Student Leadership Program

Lynne Cowe Falls, Robyn Paul and Gord Aker

Engineers in the 21st century must be able to integrate their technical knowledge with the ability to view the larger picture. As a result, there is a need to teach engineers not only technical skills, but also professional skills including teamwork and leadership. This was recognized by the CDIO initiative when they recently added an extension to their Syllabus entitled “Leading Engineering Endeavours” [1]. However, there is a lack of activities and opportunities in the traditional learning environment that enhance students’ leadership abilities. In 2006, the University of Calgary recognized this need and created the Maier Student Leadership Program. The program provides engineering students who have demonstrated an interest in leadership with an “opportunity to accelerate their careers and realize their full leadership potential” [2]. These students include those involved with students’ societies, competitive teams, and student clubs. This paper will provide a general overview of the program content, structure of the activities, and the participants’ feedback. Program activities include individual coaching, formal classroom learning, workshops and two annual conferences. The knowledge gained from the program is used by the students in the real world problems in the societies, teams and clubs they are involved with. By using their technical knowledge and leadership skills they are able to apply and adapt these together in an integrated learning experience. Reflections of the program from the founders and past participants will help to examine if the program was able to enhance the integrated learning experiences of the students. There will also be a discussion of the program’s leadership development. This case study will provide a model for others looking to provide similar leadership development opportunities for enhancing integrated learning experience that occurs in students’ societies, teams and clubs.

[1] Crawley E.F., Malmqvist, J., Ostlund, S., Brodeur, D.R., & Edstrom, K. (2014) Rethinking Engineering Education (2nd ed.). Springer. [2] Beyond Engineering. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2014 from the Schulich School of Engineering: http://schulich.ucalgary.ca/ undergraduate/studentlife/maier

Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu, China, June 8-11 2015

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