Lessons learned in the paths of developing a multidisciplinary certificate program

Hsiao Wen Wang, J. A. Van Bueren

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Multidisciplinary education is highly valued and strongly emphasized; however, many institutions still struggle to create the opportunities within their curriculum. Relevant efforts and experiences need to be further studied in order to expand the impacts of multidisciplinary education. This paper will examine challenges and opportunities as well as lessons learned in creating a multidisciplinary master's certificate program on circular economy from both the perspectives of faculty and students. A circular economy taskforce, supported by National Cheng Kung University, was set up during the fall of 2016 to boost the ongoing efforts for sustainability, with an aim of developing an international and multidisciplinary certificate program to enhance students' capacity for solving multidisciplinary problems through real-world issues and cross-disciplinary team experiences. The taskforce is represented by faculty members from different departments as the university seeks for a holistic integrated approach. At various departments, courses are modified to shift focus to the circular economy approach; and new circular economy courseware is being developed. Students and faculty members have been working on various initiatives to start pilot projects on campus and in the city. A two-week international summer school on circular economy was conducted in 2017, and a design internship program was organized. All these efforts have been integrated for developing a new master's certificate program. Faculty members as well as students who have been involved in these efforts, representing more than eight programs, were interviewed to gather their insights on opportunities and challenges of creating such a multidisciplinary master's degree program. Participants included department chairs, program coordinators, members of the task force, faculty who coordinate or teach courses, and students who work on the pilot projects. Results from the analysis will be presented in order to share lessons learned in developing a new master's certificate program, with recommendations for creating a more multidisciplinary learning environment for students. Initial thoughts on the next steps in the development process will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 23
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: 2018 Jun 232018 Dec 27

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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