Universities, colleges and academic departments acknowledge the need for more collaborative, multidisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and global education. Unfortunately, this is no trivial task. Centuries of tradition have produced institutional silos, reinforced by layers of policy and cultural differences between academic departments, between colleges, and between academic and non-academic units. Successful multidisciplinary programs require programmatic and administrative innovation that meet faculty, student and institutional needs and leverage available resources. The Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) model, in place at thirty-seven institutions, has achieved notable success in these areas. This paper profiles innovations from ten VIP Programs in three areas: institutional organization, program organization, and faculty approaches. With these innovations, the programs have broken down silos and cultivated meaningful partnerships to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders. The featured institutions vary in size and mission and represent four countries. Each innovation is presented with a brief background to provide context on how the VIP Program is situated within the larger institution. Together, these backgrounds, innovations, and lessons learned can benefit others seeking to develop and/or maintain cross-campus multidisciplinary programs.
© 2020, American Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings of ASEE Annual Conference, Virtual On line.
Amoo, Michaela E.; Bringardner, Jack; Chen, Jen-Yeu; Coyle, Edward J.; Finnegan, Jillana; Kim, Charles J.; . . . and Ward, Bennett C. (2020). "Breaking Down the Silos: Innovations for Multidisciplinary Programs". ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2020-June, 30136-1 - 30136-38. https://dx.doi.org/10.18260/1-2--34224