Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

CAEE focuses on the advancement of scholarship on undergraduate engineering learning and teaching with a goal to inform the practice of engineering teaching. The Center also works to strengthen the research and leadership skills of the engineering faculty and graduate student communities.


CAEE’s various research efforts involved over 25 colleges and universities around the U.S. For details, see Clark, Sheppard, Atman, et al. (2008), “Academic Pathways Study: Processes and Realities,” in Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference.

Research Design: 

The research design for this project includes longitudinal and cross-sectional components and is designed to generate evidence that is descriptive and quantitative. The study relies on multiple methods and data sources including surveys, structured interviews, semi-structured ethnographic interviews, and an engineering design task. Academic transcripts and exit interviews of those leaving the study provided additional data. Other research activities focus on engineering faculty, with data collected primarily through semi-structured interviews.


Overall findings describe the multiple pathways that engineering students take through their undergraduate years and beyond graduation. Example findings address student and faculty engagement, gender differences in approaches to open-ended engineering design problems, and teaching decision-making among engineering faculty. Research briefs on the CAEE web site provide further details and pointers to relevant publications.

Publications & Presentations: 

See project website below.

Other Products: 

Major products include several survey instruments designed to understand factors related to persistence in undergraduate engineering; a program for expanding the community of faculty engaged in high-quality engineering education research (ISEE); and curriculum materials for a portfolio-based program designed to help graduate students and post-doctoral fellows increase their preparation for engineering teaching (ETPP). See the CAEE web site for details.