2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

An Undergaduate Engineering Ethics and Leadership Education Program

Presented at Engaging Ethics in Teams and Communities

This paper discusses how a university has integrated an academic program of ethics and leadership across the campus and more specifically within the School of Engineering. The college has embraced principled leadership and ethics as a core component of the general education curriculum. A four year sequence of required leadership classes provides a unified approach to ethics that spans all undergraduate level degree programs. Running in parallel with the student’s major course of study, it integrates ethics and principled leadership topics into the general curriculum and into specific courses taken by the student body as a requirement for graduation. This paper will outline the leadership course requirements, the inclusion of service learning, and participation of local businesses in the program. To further prepare students for a culture of ethics in engineering the Departments Civil and Environmental Engineering along with the Electrical and Computer Engineering provide additional emphasis throughout their curriculum which support their ABET Program Outcomes. Both in and out of the classroom, engineering leadership and ethics topics span freshman through senior years. Classroom topics include NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers) code of ethics, case studies, and famous incidents. Extra- curricular activities include panel discussions, conferences, order of the engineer ceremony, and regional ethics competitions. The paper will address how the required components of the program are assessed to meet both ABET and SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and School). By focusing on principled leadership and ethics as a college-wide mission, this university has a unique story to contribute to the discussion of teaching ethics in engineering at the collegiate level.


The full paper will be available to logged in and registered conference attendees once the conference starts on June 24, 2017, and to all visitors after the conference ends on June 28, 2018

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