From Ideation to Action: Guidelines for Implementation
The goals, themes and values outlined here are intended to serve as a guide for achieving our vision. In order for us to successfully implement this plan, our individual and collective activities should be in alignment with the broader themes, which are intended to expand—not limit—our thinking and approaches.
The world continues to evolve rapidly, from climate change and global health issues such as the current coronavirus pandemic, to shifts in demographic patterns and economic fluctuations—and it is critical that the college not only keep pace with these changes but innovate and find ways to lead the advance.
Experiential learning and entrepreneurship are core not only to Drexel’s brand, but to the identity and reputation of Drexel Engineering. Timely and relevant research is central to our ability to recruit and retain world-class faculty and graduate students. And our commitment to foster long-term sustainability through innovative engineering solutions is fundamental to achieving our vision.
As we prepare to implement our strategic plan, it is essential that we integrate these human, digital and physical elements across broad themes that map to our areas of expertise, as shown in Figure 1.
The themes do not serve to limit our approach, rather they act as a guide for everyone’s short- and long-term activities, ensuring alignment of individual initiatives with the college plan.
While select individuals volunteered to join the planning process, the successful implementation of the strategic plan will ultimately be the result of a collective effort, deployed through individuals and groups at all levels of the college, over time. These strategy stewards will facilitate our action steps toward our goals for the duration.
For example, as we build on our legacy for experiential learning, administrative leadership including department heads and associate deans will collaborate with faculty and staff on the assessment of learning and teaching, and convene curriculum and assessment committees comprised of faculty and staff to ensure shared governance; similar efforts will be mirrored with activities including, but not limited to, research, recruitment and enrollment functions, communications and marketing. Our strategy stewards of individuals and teams will also assist with college-campus collaborations and activities, such as corporate partnerships and the VIP program. In short, our current administrative structures combined with individual faculty and staff across the college will play an important role in realizing our goals.
We also recognize that implementing the strategic plan will require a variety of resources ranging from the tangible (e.g., financial) to the intangible (e.g., time, culture change). Proposed actions and feasibility based on resourcing are detailed in supplemental documents internal to college faculty and staff.
Beyond implementing our strategic plan, we must have a mechanism for marking milestones toward achieving our goals and vision, as well as plan for adjusting and fine-tuning as we move into the future.
Shared Goals—Initial Actions
The following preliminary action plan, built around our shared goals, serve as foundational blocks for achieving our strategic objectives.
Build on our experiential learning legacy:
- Develop a transformative first-year engineering experience that contributes to the students’ ability to create personal, economic and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.
- Seek and develop partnerships that share our mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Enhance coursework and establish oversight of the first-year experience with the aim of introducing students to the critical roles that engineers can play in advancing sustainable development and addressing associated global challenges
- Enhance collaboration with Drexel’s Steinbright Career Development Center and work to integrate the co-op experience with on-campus experience.
- Identify opportunities for curricular integration of co-op work activities.
- Map college overarching themes to existing courses in all departments and design a plan to integrate themes more broadly across all curricula.
Reimagine engineering graduate programs
- Develop partnerships to build employer relationships and explore potential for targeted program offerings.
- In partnership with Drexel Solutions Institute, develop bundled and cohort graduate degree/certificate programs for industry.
- Develop strategy steeped in the four thematic areas for graduate programs.
- Review of existing MS programs and delivery modalities at departmental and college level.
Enhance our research impact through collaboration and innovation
- Embrace our capacity to address problems and to develop tools and approaches by launching college working groups of faculty and students to create a shared understanding, with special emphasis on the intersection of the following overarching themes and platforms:
- Renewable energy and power
- Health, wellness and medicine
- Smart cities: physical-cyber infrastructure
- Resource stewardship and sustainability
- Strongly encourage and champion interdisciplinary collaboration
Foster community and inclusion through communication and renewed spaces
- Create a Staff Assembly in Engineering (DSA-E) with the mission of advocating for the well-being and professional development of college staff as well as the shared governance of the college.
- Phased renovations to student spaces, facilities and labs including informal gathering spaces for graduate students.
- Establish a Dean’s Student Advisory Council to enhance generation, solicitation and communication of ideas for community building with the student body.