IDEAhub

Interdisciplinary Education

The Interdisciplinary Education working group’s charge is to develop templates for flexible interdisciplinary majors,  minors, certificates, and courses in alignment with employer, student, and community needs for the 21st Century.

  • Create and pilot templates for flexible interdisciplinary majors, minors, and certificates in alignment with employer and accreditation needs for the 21st Century
  • Incorporate transformative learning models and flexible, integrated pathways to support the development of students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in pursuit of their passions, purposes, and/or interests (aka: mission)
  • Design an advising structure to support students pursuing interdisciplinary degrees and certificates
  • Incentivize interdisciplinary courses & programs and address institutional constraints

Moving Forward

Starting with a common definition of Interdisciplinarity as being the intentional meshing of disciplinary knowledge to address a problem and being able to synthesize that knowledge to more effectively address complex situations, taking into account multiple perspectives rather than just as assortment of classes from different disciplines, the goals this group identified include:

  • Development of curricula and courses that are collaborative and that break disciplinary boundaries
  • Appropriate incentives and budget models that facilitate and encourage these courses
  • Development of, revisions to, or elimination of, key processes and policies that currently inhibit interdisciplinary collaboration. The first process this group has started to address is the cumbersome and labor intensive binder process. After preparing and distributing a survey to those most involved in the binder process, the group is now analyzing the 30 responses and preparing a report for the administration. The report will provide a recommended path forward including a cost breakdown to move to a digital process.

Interdisciplinary Education prototypes for the 2020-2021 school year include:

  • Essential Ed Pathways and Integrative Experience
  • Nature Psychology Course with Health and Wellness Outcomes
  • Interdisciplinary Environmental Issues Course
  • Interdisciplinary Human Factors Task Force
  • Humanities in Disciplines (HID)

Team Roster

Team Co-Leaders

Nancy Barr

  • Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics
  • Director, Engineering Communications Program
nbbarr@mtu.edu
906-487-4519
MEEM 1009

Kelly Steelman

  • Department Chair and Associate Professor, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Affiliated Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Affiliated Associate Professor, Computer Science
steelman@mtu.edu
906-487-2792
Meese Center 107

Interdisciplinary Education Team

Name Department
Susan Amato-Henderson Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Mari Buche College of Business
Andrew Fiss Humanities
Jeffrey Hollingsworth Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
Karla Kitalong Humanities
Sarah Kuhl Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success
Alexandra Morrison Humanities
Vicky Roy College of Computing
John Sticklen Engineering Fundamentals
Briana Tucker Pavlis Honors College/Enterprise Program
Chuck Wallace Computer Science
Jeffrey Wall College of Business

Interdisciplinary Education inspirations include:

  • The Cornerstone Program at Purdue University
  • James Madison University's X-Labs Program