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March 07, 2007

Sociological research expert is available for comment on innovation in engineering curriculum


An Inside Higher Education.com article this month addresses the issue of boosting American global competitiveness and innovation and describes federal government initiatives to strengthen basic research as well as science and engineering education. U.S. Representatives Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Ralph Hall’s (R-TX) new bill, HR 363, in parallel with President Bush’s 2006 American Competitiveness Initiative, and the March 5 bipartisan Senate bill, America Competes Act, aim to bolster academic research in the sciences. But with engineering enrollments remaining flat or declining in the United States, according to the American Society for Engineering Education (down by 2%, from 375,000 in 2003 to 366,361 in 2005), tradition-busting curriculum changes are needed in U.S. universities and colleges of engineering in order to attract and retain American students.

American Sociological Association (ASA)
Research Director, Roberta Spalter-Roth, recently completed a National Science Foundation-supported initiative with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in order to delineate how to cultivate necessary innovative changes within the tradition-bound engineering curriculum to attract more students. The ASA/NAE initiative will be continuing to explore options for re-engineering the engineering education mold. Spalter-Roth is available for interviews and comments.

For more information, contact Sujata Sinha at 202-247-9871 or via email at ssinha@asanet.org.

About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.