The Rapid Model: Initial Results from Testing a Model to Set up a Course-Sharing Consortia for STEM Programs at the Graduate Level

Thomas L. Acker, Nena E. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Skilled candidates with graduate training are in critical need in the wind energy industry. To prepare for employment in the industry requires both general training (e.g., an engineering degree, a business degree, etc.) and specialized training (e.g., wind energy resource assessment, wind turbine design, environmental impacts training, etc.). Consequently, it is challenging for one educational institution to provide the depth and breadth of course offerings and educational opportunities required. This challenge exists in many multidisciplinary and rapidly evolving fields. WindU is a collaborative National Science Foundation funded effort to respond to this need, by developing and testing a model to establish an expandable, multi-university, multidisciplinary consortium in STEM graduate education. The consortium consists of multiple universities across the United States who have expertise in wind energy and share distance learning courses. The goal is to both broaden learning opportunities for current students, and to open up the pool of possible students interested in this field. Expanding educational opportunities by developing online delivery of wind energy graduate courses is one strategy to address much needed diversity in the field. Building upon the literature of previous successful consortium development, a new replicable model for setting up a consortium was created, called the Rapid model, with the name reflecting the goal to implement a new consortium within one year. Researchers conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of the model, through observing program meetings, interviewing faculty, staff and administrators engaged in the consortium development work, and examining course sharing outcomes. Researchers identified a number of aspects of the model most important for establishing the consortium, including the importance of external facilitation, committed faculty, staff and administrators, and useful tools and procedures. The research also identified some areas for model modification. This replicable model adds to the knowledge base concerning establishment of an expandable university consortium in graduate STEM education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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