The honors program in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology began in 2002. The program admits approximately thirty first year students each year and focuses upon product innovation in a global economy. The goal of the program is to provide talented engineering students with a full appreciation of the product development cycle, from concept to realization; in particular, how products are conceived, how decisions are made at the corporate level to pursue certain products and not others, and how product concepts are refined, engineered, and then manufactured for the marketplace. The first strategy being used is a two academic year course sequence covering topics ranging from teamwork and leadership to globalization. The second strategy involves taking students on two comprehensive “field trips” – one domestic and the other international, where students explore how companies, large and small, address product development. Prior to each trip students present background material on each company and after the company visit students engage in a discussion of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This paper will describe the successful integration of this specialized series of courses with the domestic and international company visits to achieve student appreciation of product development in a global marketplace. Program and course assessment results will be presented.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



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Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)


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