Impacts of Engineering: An introductory course in engineering featuring social justice


Devin R. Berg


engrXiv Preprints


Impacts of Engineering is a three-credit required course for all incoming engineering freshmen and is also available as a general education elective to all university students. The course was developed to address the needs of new engineering students while setting the stage for how they might approach engineering work in later curriculum. Prior to the development of this course, engineering students at UW-Stout were exposed to the topics of ethics, social justice, and social responsibility solely through general education electives and through limited discussion in capstone courses. In addition, there is a selection of “extra-curricular” opportunities for student engagement, most notably a chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA, however these opportunities don’t carry curricular integration. The first effort at more directly integrating these topics into the engineering curriculum was through the development of a new course called “Impacts of Engineering,” which is described in the course documentation as shown in the following section. Broadly, this course supports the program educational objective of graduating students who are “committed to high ethical standards, global perspectives, and principles of social responsibility and social justice.” The course aims to supplement the technical content typically found in introductory engineering coursework with professional or life skills such as good communication, time management, and ability to function on a diverse team. Finally, the course objectives include several that are specifically directed at developing an understanding of engineering design from a global perspective.


Preprint: 10.31224/