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The Murky Crystal Ball: Current Issues and Future Directions in Higher Education

Date: Monday February 16, 1998

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Richard M. Felder, Hoechst Celanese Professor of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University

Calls for major changes in higher education have been heard with growing frequency in recent years. The proponents of change call for attaching greater importance to teaching in the academic reward system, movement away from the traditional lecture format to more active and cooperative learning methods, and the use of industry-derived assessment techniques to evaluate and improve program quality. In engineering these proposals are reflected in ABET Engineering Criteria 2000, which will come into force as the accreditation standard in 2001. Resistance to these proposals has concurrently arisen among administrators and faculty members who believe that the present system works well and should not be changed. This seminar will outline the focal issues in the debate, summarize the opposing views on each issue, and predict the eventual resolutions.

Sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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