Two critical components of Wentworth’s education are our focus on interdisciplinary learning and our hallmark co-op program. Through these valuable experiences, our students learn how to work together as members of a cross-functional team. After all, in today’s working world, collaboration is key to success.
And within those collaborations, we also want our students to expand their horizons. Through interdisciplinary learning, the experience an engineering student, for instance, can gain from working on a project with an architecture student is invaluable. The same is true for a construction management student working with a computer science student or an interior design student working with a facility management student. Not only do students gain valuable insight and perspective from their peers, but the experience prepares them for the modern work environment, where complex challenges often demand a response from a diverse team.
As Wentworth has increased its focus on interdisciplinary education in recent years, the results have been exciting to see. This spring, four separate interdisciplinary groups of students presented course-based projects they had completed during the year. For example, one team focused on developing a temperature scanning device that could detect the presence of fever within a crowd of people. This technology could prove useful when trying to stop an outbreak of disease before it becomes epidemic. The value in the varied team project approach is evident: the biomedical students provided an overall concept and medical perspective, the electrical engineering students provided circuitry expertise, and the industrial design students helped shape the prototype.
This summer, I participated in the World Association for Cooperative Education’s ninth annual international conference in Istanbul, Turkey, and advocated for the importance of expanding interdisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for students. Wentworth’s continued commitment to interdisciplinary education and our co-op program provide our students with an edge in the modern economy and are a great source of pride for me and the entire community.