The undergraduate Bioengineering Program at Lehigh University was established as part of the university’s Bioscience and Biotechnology Initiative with support from the National Science Foundation through a grant from its Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC). The objective here is to describe the program development and implementation, as well as the challenges encountered. Bioengineering at Lehigh was designed as an interdisciplinary program, with an emphasis on experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and innovation. In this light, the goals established for the program implementation were focused on recruiting students, developing a rigorous curriculum, equipping laboratories, and fostering industrial partnerships. The curriculum initially had three key components: a core of basic requirements, three tracks allowing students to specialize within a field of bioengineering, and experiential learning. The key challenges faced are balancing breadth and depth of a curriculum in a diverse field, improving experiential learning opportunities, implementing changes while maintaining stability, and handling operations as a new program rather than as an established department. The effectiveness of these strategies has been assessed on an ongoing basis. For example, an integrated recruitment strategy was used to encourage student enrollment, the results of which were measured through surveys and admissions data. Requiring students to select one of the three tracks, which are Biopharmaceutical Engineering, Cell and Tissue Engineering, and Bioelectronics and Biophotonics, each with an advanced laboratory course, added depth to the curriculum. Based on several sources of feedback, numerous changes have been made to the curriculum, including the addition of more bioengineering courses, especially advanced electives. The incorporation of Integrated Product Development (IPD), which was already an established hallmark program at Lehigh, into bioengineering, was a major program change that enhanced the hands-on learning and innovation opportunities. Implementing such changes, and managing them effectively, have been necessary to maintain program stability.
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