Capacity Building Through Strengthening Professional Skills in Engineering Graduates
Engineering programs globally are rich in technical contents in order to meet and satisfy accreditation organizations requirements. However, most of these programs in recent years came to conclusions that most of students and graduates could be better served if engineering programs could include emphasis on professional or soft skills. Although some of these skills are required and often emphasized by accreditation bodies, mastering in them require vision, planning, and allocation of time and budget by academic institutions. Furthermore, these skills must be embedded in the curriculum from the freshman year. The State of Qatar, a small country in the Middle East, has developed and implemented a national vision for the country known as Vision 2030 [1, 2]. One of the major pillars in the national Vision 2030 is the Capacity Building by providing quality education and training for the nation in particular for the younger generation with the leadership aspiration. Texas A&M University has established a branch campus in Qatar and has been offering four engineering degree programs since 2003. This branch campus has been exceptionally successful in offering quality engineering degree programs with a high emphasis on developing and instilling professional skills in its graduates through a variety of opportunities created and implemented by the faculty. This paper presents some of these programs introduced by faculty to further build students’ professional skills and review some of the outcomes achieved over the past decade.
KeywordsAccreditation Communication skills Professional skills Student outcomes Continuous improvement
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