Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 12, pp 3606–3618 | Cite as

Improving Bioengineering Student Leadership Identity Via Training and Practice within the Core-Course

  • David M. Rosch
  • P. I. Imoukhuede


The development of a leadership identity has become significant in bioengineering education as a result of an increasing emphasis on teamwork within the profession and corresponding shifts in accreditation criteria. Unsurprisingly, placing bioengineering students in teams to complete classroom-based projects has become a dominant pedagogical tool. However, recent research indicates that engineering students may not develop a leadership identity, much less increased leadership capacity, as a result of such efforts. Within this study, we assessed two similar sections of an introductory course in bioengineering; each placed students in teams, while one also included leadership training and leadership practice. Results suggest that students in the leadership intervention section developed a strong self-image of themselves as leaders compared to students in the control section. These data suggest that creating mechanisms for bioengineering students to be trained in leadership and to practice leadership behaviors within a classroom team may be keys for unlocking leadership development.


Leadership development Undergraduate education CATME StrengthsFinder Teambuilding Sophomore Core-course Engineering education 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Amos for her assistance with the IRB process and for informative discussions. We would also like to thank Dr. Kelly Cross for informative discussions. The authors would also like to thank the Illinois Leadership Center for their participation in this work, in particular Jeff Yacup and Furqan Hadi. Finally, we would like to thank members of the BIOE201 teaching team: Dr. Dipanjan Pan, Jared Weddell, and Ali Ansari. This work was supported by National Science Foundation CBET Grant #1512598 (P. Imoukhuede).


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Education Program, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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