AIChE Journal Highlight: Initiatives to Improve Faculty-Student Experiences | AIChE

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AIChE Journal Highlight: Initiatives to Improve Faculty-Student Experiences


The May AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Improving the Faculty-Student Experience in Chemical Engineering,” discusses initiatives that I helped implement throughout the 15 years that I served as dean of engineering at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder (CU), from 2002 through 2017. Of the five initiatives — undergraduate assistants, leadership experience, global opportunities, intensive courses, and living and learning communities — I highlight two in this preview.

Undergraduate assistants. As many professors will agree, involving undergraduates as research assistants benefits their educational experience and helps their graduate mentors build leadership skills, all while advancing faculty research programs. I have been lucky to have outstanding undergraduate assistants in teaching and administration.

Many years ago, we created the Earn-Learn Apprenticeships (ELA) program at CU, which we implemented first in the chemical and biological engineering (ChBE) department and then college-wide. It now employs more than 300 undergraduates each semester in paid teaching, administrative, and service...

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