Certificate Program Requirements
The certificate program is challenging. It is intended for students who are motivated to commit the time, effort, and personal discipline needed to engage in a rigorous learning experience that will help them develop into effective engineering leaders and team members. Following is a summary of program curriculum requirements.
The core of our certificate is built around a sequence of integrated coursework taken throughout a students time at Rice. Each class, described below, emphasize different yet interrelated skill and topic areas.
ENGI 140: Engineering Leadership Development (2 credits, taken as a freshman or sophomore)
ENGI 218: Leadership Lab I (1 credit total, taken as a freshman or sophomore)
ENGI 219: Leadership Lab II (1 credit total, taken as a freshman or sophomore)
ENGI 241: Professional Excellence for Engineers I (1 credit, taken as a sophomore or junior)
ENGI 315: Leading Teams and Innovation (3 credits, taken as a sophomore or junior)
ENGI 317: Leadership Action Learning (2 credits, taken as a junior or senior)
ENGI 318: Leadership Lab I (1 credit, taken as a junior or senior)
ENGI 319: Leadership Lab II (1 credit, taken as a junior or senior)
All of the required 10 credit hours are unique to the Certificate. Timing of the classes is flexible and students must earn a "C" or better.
Certificate Course Descriptions
ENGI 140: Engineering Leadership Development – a two-credit course that introduces students to engineering leadership and to RCEL’s skill and competency domains. Students engage in a semester-long autobiographical analysis of their personal strengths, motivations, and aspirations as leaders and followers. This analysis is then used to create a first draft of their engineering leadership portfolios and leadership development plans.
ENGI 218/219: Engineering Leadership Labs – a sequence of one-credit hour courses that provide hands-on practice and application of leadership skills and techniques in a variety of practical situations. Through challenging and interactive engineering design-build activities, role-plays, simulations, and case studies, students begin developing their own personal styles of leadership. During these classes, students will continue to update and integrate their insights about personal growth into their engineering leadership portfolios and leadership development plans.
ENGI 315: Leading Teams and Innovation – a three-credit hour course that reviews and develops the skills needed to effectively launch, develop, and lead innovative engineering teams. Through a balance of theory and practice, students learn how to diagnose and address some of the common challenges that leaders and followers face in engineering teams. A major focus of the course is on creative methods for innovating in technical contexts. During this class, students will continue to update and integrate their insights about personal growth into their engineering leadership development plans.
ENGI 241: Professional Excellence for Engineers – a one-credit hour practicum course that provides guided career and professional development for engineering students as they complete real-world industrial, academic, research, or other professional internship. Through a structured internship experience, this course prepares students to assimilate quickly and to exceed employer expectations during their internships. A copy of this syllabus is provided in Appendix A-4.
ENGI 317: Leadership Action Learning – a two-credit hour practicum course where students apply skills acquired through the certificate courses to a specific leadership development project. Students work with faculty to identify skill-areas of interest, based on their autobiographical paper and their leadership plans and portfolios. Students then develop and engage in a structured learning experience in which they apply selected skills, receive feedback from others on skill application, assess development before and after, and deliver a final reflection on the overall learning experience.
ENGI 318/319: Engineering Leadership Labs – a sequence of one-credit hour courses that expand on the applied leadership development labs presented in ENGI 218/219. Students serve as Student Coaches for the weekly ENGI 218/219 Engineering Leadership Labs (ELLs). Each student must develop, refine, and lead multiple labs. During the ELLs, Student Coaches provide guidance, feedback, and performance evaluation for ENGI 218/219 students. The course includes mandatory discussion leading, and students engage in structured self-evaluation throughout the semester.
Internships provide a critical opportunity for students to practice their leadership development, to learn about the engineering profession, and to build a network of professional mentors. The Leadership Certificate requires all students to participate in a meaningful summer internship, ideally after the sophomore year.
Through RCEL, students complete a structured internship course (ENGI 241) focused on the practice and acquisition of leadership skills in a “real-world” industrial, academic, or research environment. The course prepares students to assimilate quickly into their roles, and to exceed employer expectations during their internships. Successful students complete their internship with an understanding of the vision, mission, strategy and objectives of the organization, and identify how their projects align within the company.
Leadership Development Plan
The purpose of the Development Plan is to understand one’s personal leadership capabilities, synthesize the “lessons learned” from experiences, and use experience to manage the development of the capabilities needed to become an engineering leader.
Engineering Leadership Portfolio
The leadership portfolio is a tool to synthesize leadership-related learning experiences, including coursework, involvement in student organizations, competitions and conferences, as well as other achievements, such as filing a patent. The purpose of the Portfolio is for the student to organize and reflect on their experiences, ultimately showing their development as a leader during their time at Rice. The Engineering Leadership Portfolio is an ongoing process throughout the Certificate curriculum and is completed during the student's senior year.
Final Leadership Presentation
The final certificate presentation by each student marks the conclusion of the Certificate learning experience. The 15-minute oral presentation highlights and synthesizes the key takeaways that have shaped each student’s leadership development and perspective on engineering leadership. Through the presentation, Certificate students must provide evidence of learning and growth grounded in experiences and demonstrate analysis and reflection of their development.