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Title: Career Development and Professionalism within a Biomedical Engineering Capstone Course PDF
Url: http://search.asee.org/search/fetch?url=file%3A%2F%2Flocalhost%2FE%3A...
Creator: Allen, Timothy
Pierce, Shayn
Publisher: University of Virginia
Description: Many facets of professionalism in addition to technical skills are critical for engineers as they seek to put their knowledge and problem-solving experience into action in the workforce. The so-called professional skills necessary for productive career development (e.g. effective written and oral communication, networking, etc.) are especially important in biomedical engineering (BME) due to the rapidly evolving nature of the field and the diversity of students attracted to BME and the correspondingly broad range of careers that they choose to pursue, including biomedical and biotech industries, academic research, intellectual property, FDA regulation, consulting, finance, and other professional tracks. To address the need for undergraduates to possess adequate non-technical skills prior to graduation, BME curricula typically use capstone courses as vehicles for teaching professionalism. In the BME Capstone course at the University of Virginia, we have instituted several mechanisms for instilling a wide array of non-technical professional skills in BME majors. An emphasis on career development begins at the outset of the course with a formal project selection process that features a BME Capstone Project Fair, which is similar to a job fair where the students submit resumes and interview with potential advisors and then submit formal cover letters to apply for their topranked projects. Interactive workshops and lectures throughout the year cover topics such as interviewing, negotiations, giving constructive feedback, and effective leadership. The Capstone course also employs periodic corporate-style progress reports, Solutions Workshop smallgroup discussion sections that require students to succinctly summarize their project and respond to in-depth questioning, and individual accountability meetings. Preliminary assessment of these enhancements to our BME Capstone course has revealed that students, on average, have greatly improved in their ability to: verbally communicate the details of their projects concisely; convey the overarching problem that motivates their work; speak confidently about what they have accomplished and where their projects are headed; recognize when they require additional expertise and guidance; understand better how to use their existing networks and build on these networks to find such additional expertise when necessary; and consistently communicate with their advisors and collaborators in a timely and professional manner. The initial successes observed after applying these methods in our BME Capstone program indicate that a strong emphasis on a broad array of non-technical skills enhances student professionalism, thus more effectively empowering graduates to embark upon successful careers.
LC Classification: Bibliography. Library science. Information resources (General) -- Subject bibliography -- Education -- Special topics, A-Z -- Engineering education
Medicine -- Medicine (General) -- Biomedical engineering. Electronics. Instrumentation
GEM Subject: Science -- Engineering
Vocational Education -- Technology
Vocational Education -- Trade and industrial
Resource Type: Lesson Plans
Reading Materials
Science Materials
Format: pdf
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Secondary Education
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Access Rights: Free access
Date Of Record Release: 2010-03-08 03:00:02 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2012-06-06 15:16:52 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: National Center for Manufacturing Education
Full Record Views: 56
Resource URL Clicks: 10
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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