Design 4 Practice
Putting the practice back into curriculum
The Design4Practice program was developed in 1994, and was originally intended as a team-taught class that simulated a corporate environment. The classes were multi-disciplinary in that each engineering student regardless of engineering fields participated in the classes. The instructors came from all the engineering fields. The intent was to provide a series of design classes where students would integrate their technical skills learned in their discipline and apply them to team based design challenges. As NAU has grown from a smaller teaching college to a larger research based institution , the Design4Practice program has evolved to meet the changing needs of the industry and society at large.
The D4P program
The Design4Practice (D4P) program is a four-class sequence culminating in the senior capstone experience. The D4P courses are designed to prepare students for an environment that requires the synthesis of technical knowledge, skills, and creative problem-solving. The four “pillars” of the D4P Program are: 1) Engineering Design, 2) Communication, 3) Teamwork, and 4) Professionalism.
The Design4Practice Program is founded on the following objectives.
To produce engineering graduates who can creatively apply technical skills to effectively solve problems.
To explicitly teach engineering students to integrate technical skills obtained in their engineering curriculum into the overall design process.
To cultivate the collaborative skills necessary to be successful.
To develop the communication skills necessary to be successful.
To ensure students understand the design process.