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Get to Know the SWE Senate’s Education and Learning Sub-TeamThe SWE Senate has created an FY20 sub-team to strategically address education and learning initiatives for the Society. These initiatives largely fall under SWE’s Professional Excellence Strategic Goal.

I’m excited to be leading the FY20 Senate’s Education and Learning sub-team. The sub-team is comprised of Senators Kate Van Dellen, Jacquelyn Nagel, Megan Schulze, and Marta Wicke as well as Director Libby Taylor, and SWE Secretary Sandy Pettit. The members of this SWE Senate sub-team are leaders, educators, trainers, and life-longer learners!

Our primary focus this fiscal year is to determine how SWE should adapt to changing educational needs and structures. Within this topic, the sub-team will address the following two strategic questions:

Where are the opportunities to leverage microlearning to strengthen the Society’s professional development portfolio?

Over the next few weeks, the sub-team created by the SWE Senate will be reviewing the current and proposed future states of SWE’s content delivery methods including microlearning. A significant amount of work is currently underway within SWE to develop and expand our online SWE learning offerings through the Advance Learning Center. The sub-team is currently reaching out to SWE Headquarters, the Curriculum Committee, and other SWE groups that are working on SWE education and learning related content to learn more.

Should SWE consider any future changes to its structure due to emerging trends in higher education?

At the same time, the sub-team is also reviewing the trends in higher education towards nontraditional university settings. Our goal is to get a better understanding of what education may look like many years from now and how any significant changes may affect the needs of future SWE members. For example, if the number of students attending undergraduate classes in-person on college campuses drops substantially in favor of a new type of educational setting, will SWE’s current collegiate section structure effectively recruit and retain those future members?

As the sub-team progresses through its work plan this fiscal year, more updates will be provided on the SWE All Together blog under Member News. The SWE Senate looks forward to sharing what we learn and providing recommendations to the Society!


Author Bio: Heather Wiest, PhD, PE is an FY19-FY21 SWE Senator. She has been an active SWE member and leader since FY08. Heather works at Blue Origin in Merritt Island, FL as a Mechanical Engineer designing launch pad fluid systems.

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