Oregon postsecondary institutions offer a variety of opportunities to students seeking programs in engineering. Most of these institutions offer pre-engineering coursework to students that will eventually transfer to other Oregon institutions and complete a degree in engineering. However, what is expected of students in the first two years of engineering studies is not explicit and varies by institution. This is due in part to the fact that the community colleges and OUS institutions have not identified a common engineering curriculum in terms of educational learning outcomes expected during those first years of study. Without explicit standards, it is difficult for high schools and postsecondary institutions to communicate expectations to students.
This study undertook a standards development process designed to yield the first set of explicit pre-engineering learning outcomes that could then used to align high school and postsecondary, entry-level engineering courses. The process led to the development of learning outcomes for content knowledge, key cognitive strategies, and teaching practices that reflect the content and intellectual goals of best practice in pre-engineering education.