Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle
Edited by Bruce Kingma
Chapter 2: Transforming a Professional Curriculum through Engagement with Practice: The Global Enterprise Technology Program at Syracuse University
Robert Heckman and Jeffrey Saltz INTRODUCTION As knowledge expands in all fields, professional education becomes increasingly specialized. Graduates of professional programs may possess the deep technical knowledge required by today’s workforce, but often they have not been given the opportunity to practice what they have learned, or to develop the collaboration skills needed to work effectively in teams to create integrated solutions. Grant (1996) argues that an organization’s primary function is to integrate the diverse specialized knowledge of individuals. This knowledgebased theory of organizations leads to a fundamental pedagogical question: how should we best educate professionals both to apply their technical expertise effectively and to integrate that specialized expertise with the knowledge of their colleagues? This chapter describes an innovative and transformational approach to educating technical professionals through the development of a curriculum that accesses the world of practice in multiple ways. In June 2007, Syracuse University and JPMorgan Chase & Co. began a unique, long-term university– industry collaboration that has objectives in applied research, curriculum development, economic development and community outreach. One of the primary purposes of the collaboration is to transform the way technologists are educated, through an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum in the field of Global Enterprise Technology (GET). The chapter begins by describing the problems that led the university to recognize the need for this new curriculum. It then discusses how this collaboration differs from previous university–corporate alliances. Finally, it provides several examples of how the practice-based GET curriculum addresses the identified shortcomings in professional education. 16...
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