Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Publications


Bringing the University to the Workplace: Targeted Short Course Development

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Journal Title

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference




This article explores aspects of strategy for the development of a scientific or engineering educational program to meet a specific competency gap at the request of commercial or industrial customers. This goal may present several challenges to the University, especially where it may deviate from traditional educational praxis. The economic and logistic needs of external customers may require a highly condensed course which precludes time-intensive learning activities often relied upon in a more conventional educational context, and competing learning objectives may exist between the technical perspective of the students in the course (e.g. design engineers or analysts) and those with a more business-oriented viewpoint (e.g. managers) who have authorized the financing of the course. A successful educational outcome should satisfy the spectrum of expectations. This requires a robust understanding of the needs of the company as well as the individual students, so University educators should be responsive to integrate this into the content, organization, and delivery of high-level technical short courses.