Program Director: Susan Voss
Despite its central importance in society, engineering stands virtually alone as a professional degree with a small and declining participation by women. The Picker Engineering Program addressed this problem by utilizing the resources and expertise of a women’s college to create a positive learning environment for women to study engineering. The program also supports women by creating a supportive learning community, developing a flexible curriculum, providing female role models, including societal contexts in problem solving and using pedagogies that increase engagement.
The Picker faculty has developed an engineering program that responds to the challenges facing engineering education. Fundamental to the program is its setting in a liberal-arts environment in which students learn to contextualize engineering in the framework of bigger societal questions and to think in different ways as they collaborate on interdisciplinary teams. The program is also learner-centered in both its curriculum and pedagogy. Students work closely with faculty to design individualized plans of study that address both their learning goals and the technical requirements of the profession. Finally, throughout the program faculty apply research-based pedagogy to help students develop deep and integrated understanding of engineering concepts and the ability to work creatively with ideas to generate new theories, products and knowledge.