University Goal 1: Sustain and Enhance the Quality of Undergraduate Education
Subgoal 1: Continuous Improvement of Undergraduate Education
The Goal 1.1 Committee investigated the ways in which the University is continuously improving undergraduate education, and evaluated the University's progress toward meeting its objectives for undergraduate education and assessing student academic achievement. This chapter draws primarily on the Goal 1.1 Committee Report [6.2B1], as well as the Goal 1.3 Committee Report [6.2B3], the college and school self-studies (see Appendix 6), the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development Self-Study [2.6F1], and the Enrollment Management/Registrar Self-Study [2.6H6]. Please see these reports for additional information.
At the undergraduate level, we will have comprehensive, diverse, and relevant curricula that educate technically competent, intellectually vital graduates who are creative, effective leaders and communicators who are aware of the changing social, economic, and cultural values of the world. (University Vision Statement).
Michigan Tech clearly defines its mission as quality education in engineering, science, and related fields, and more specifically describes the process and product of undergraduate education in its vision statement. Neither a narrowly defined technical training institute, nor a comprehensive university that provides education for all possible interests, Michigan Tech offers 30 discipline-oriented baccalaureate degrees in engineering, science, and related fields, which are described in the Undergraduate Catalog [1.3A7]. This is more focused than Michigan's other fifteen public universities, which offer 40 to 216 different baccalaureate degrees. In addition to disciplines traditionally associated with a technological university, such as engineering and mathematics, Michigan Tech offers degree programs in innovative applications of technology, such as Scientific and Technical Communication (Humanities) and Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences (School of Forestry and Wood Products).
Undergraduate education at Michigan Tech has two components: General Education and a major course of study. The purposes of the General Education program as well as the purposes of each major are described in the Undergraduate Catalog [1.3A], which is published biannually. Focused course work in the major, designed for the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge and skills, is balanced by course work in General Education which provides broad knowledge of the social, cultural, environmental, and economic contexts of science and engineering. Both components foster personal and professional growth and skill development. Competence in computers, problem solving, critical thinking, and communication are clearly stated objectives under Goal 1.1 in the Strategic Plan.
The importance of acquiring broad knowledge and skills is clearly stated in the University mission and vision, and also in the President's welcoming message in the Student Handbook [1.2C], which is received by every student. It is consistent with the vision of business and government leaders, who emphasize the national need for broadly educated engineers and scientists with communication and interpersonal skills, and with the tenor of recent policy discussions by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Association for Higher Education, and the American Society for Engineering Education. This affirms that our mission and vision for undergraduate education is appropriate to an institution of higher education.
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