Forming a Coalition to Decrease Freshout Rampup Time in the Engineering Workplace: A Business Plan for an Academic, Industry, and Government Partnership

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Conference Proceeding

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Having spent more than three years trying to change the engineering curriculum at one university, the Engineering Education Research to Practice (E2R2P) team has realized that wonder workshops for faculty, visible redesigns of courses, and other subsystem solutions don’t work. Stated simply, engineering faculty often face significant time barriers to implementing research-based instructional strategies. Changing the curriculum requires re-engineering the larger engineering education system and the ways in which it academic, government, and industry components interact to produce and onboard newly hired and graduated “freshout” engineers. In other words, there is an unmet need to use systems engineering to change the system that produces new engineers and ramps up their performance in the workplace.

To this end, the E2R2P team has proposed creating a larger venue for collaboration, where these parties can reach past their traditional silos to address a shared concern: decreasing the time that freshouts need to fit into their new jobs and reach competent levels of workplace performance. This collaborative venue could provide the mechanism for changing the system to produce work-ready graduates and the onboarding processes that engineering businesses use.

This venue would allow academics, government, and industry to work together as part of a larger community of concern and practice. Collaboratively, they could collect and interpret data in ways that would let them identify problems, determine root causes, and Draft Business Plan: Engineering the Engineers Version 1.4 March 13, 2014 Page 4 determine corrective actions that improve engineering education and onboarding.

To create this venue, the team has drafted a business plan for a nonprofit coalition to decrease new engineer ramp up time. The plan consists of the following major sections:

• Foundation: Current state and historical context, along with the mission, vision, values, and style/image of the proposed coalition.

• External environment: Stakeholder segments, competition, and important trends.

• Business model: services to be offered, customers, positioning and value proposition, channels to customers, financial model, organization and staffing model.

• Goals and strategies: biggest challenges and opportunities, potential benefits for institutional members, goals and strategies, business processes.

• Organization: form of business, organization structure and roles and responsibilities, compensation and financial model.

• Action plan for implementation: start-up risks and risk mitigation; milestones, Objectives, activities and timelines; financial forecast.

The E2R2P team is interested in finding academic and business partners willing to explore and collaborate in this effort.

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