Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching receives $4.4 million award

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT), directed by Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Professor Cindy Atman, is the recipient of a $4.4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The award establishes the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education, a multi-campus program to research, develop, and promote teaching practices to help students reflect on their experiences. The goal of the consortium is to enhance the learning ability of first- and second-year undergraduates who want to be engineers, especially those from underrepresented populations.

Jennifer Turns, HCDE Professor and co-leader of the new initiative noted that without proper reflection, small-scale challenges can accumulate and influence a student’s decision to leave their engineering program. "If you can get students to add an element of reflection that can bump them out of the 'I don't belong in engineering' feeling at the micro-level, you might be able to change their macro-level decision to leave or stay in engineering," Turns said.