Leadership minor cited as example of international good practice

The Engineering Leadership Development Minor (ELDM) was recently recognized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an example of global good practice in engineering leadership education. In a white paper released by MIT titled "Engineering leadership education: A snapshot review of international good practice," Penn State's ELDM led the list of four case study examples highlighted in the report.

The report cited the ELDM as a good example of a "program with a strong focus on global engineering leadership." The case study provided an overview and the program structure and focus of the minor.

Information for the report was collected during interviews with international experts in engineering education and directors of established engineering leadership programs, including ELDM director Rick Schuhmann. More than 70 individuals were consulted and more than 40 programs were investigated.

The ELDM -- which is offered within the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs -- helps students of all disciplines develop the leadership and business skills necessary for success in the global economy.

The minor focuses on honing nontechnical skills through team leadership, building networks and helping others through hands-on, socially relevant leadership projects.

The ELDM is well known for its successful projects and collaborations with business students at Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary, and engineering students at Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingénieurs in Rabat, Morocco.

"Students in our program learn about themselves and come to understand and become friends with others from very different cultures; they know their place in the world and can walk confidently," said Schuhmann. "Our aspirations are for them to become innovative and effective leaders of character."

MIT conducted this review of successful engineering leadership programs and released the white paper prior to the launch of its new Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. Similar to Penn State's ELDM, the program seeks to educate the next generation of leaders through project-based learning, extensive interaction with industry leaders, hands-on product development, engineering leadership labs and real-world leadership challenges and exercises.

To view the MIT white paper, visit http://web.mit.edu/gordonelp/elewhitepaper.pdf online.

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Last Updated November 17, 2009