ABET Innovation Award

The Villanova University College of Engineering Career Compass Program is the 2021 ABET Innovation Award recipient.

About the Award

The ABET Innovation Award recognizes vision and commitment that challenge the status-quo in technical education.

It honors an individual and/or a program or an institutional team that has broken new ground by developing and implementing innovation into an ABET-accredited program.

True innovation is hard to define, but easy to identify. This award distinguishes programs that have brought a new dimension to education in areas like: curriculum development, laboratory experiences, teaching methodologies, cross-disciplinary programs, experiential learning – almost anything designed and proven to improve a student’s educational experience.

2021 Winner

Villanova University College of Engineering Career Compass Program

For successful implementation of a mandatory undergraduate engineering program that stimulates and develops broad-based innovative leadership and management skills, preparing each graduate for entry into a dynamic workplace.

Developed in consultation with engineering alumni, faculty and students, Career Compass is a one-of-a-kind professional development curriculum. Students learn not only the scientific, mathematical and engineering principles expected of every engineer, but also the professional skills needed to succeed in any career.

The Career Compass professional development program is a combination of self-directed on-line modules and required activities, such as attending professional events on campus.
Career Compass also connects students with professionals in the University’s Career Center who will prepare them for internships and career opportunities through resume workshops and mock interviews with employer representatives.

Another highlight of the program is one-on-one mentorship from a Villanova Engineering alumnus, beginning in each student’s sophomore year. To date, more than 650 alumni have been engaged in the program, offering gender-based, personal and professional advice to help students define their individual career paths moving forward.

In addition to mentorship, alumni also contribute to the program through COMPASS Conversations. These major-specific panel discussions offer insights into the career paths available to students and advice on how to reach their goals.

Award Benefits

  • Recognition at the 2020 ABET Awards program on in the fall of 2021
  • $10,000 cash prize
  • Recipient and their work will be featured on the award page, recognized in a press release, ABET news announcement and ABET social media pages.

The Nomination Kit

The ABET Innovation Award is given to a nominee selected by their peers. To learn more about the process and criteria involved, or to nominate one of your peers, download and review the nomination kit below. The deadline for nominations is April 20, and only complete nominations with references will be accepted.

Download Nomination Kit

Past Recipients

2020: IT Students Capacity Building Program by iSITE — Integrated Southern Tagalog Association of IT Education

For providing collaborative industry-aligned seminars, training and conferences to students in geographically dispersed IT programs and promoting opportunities for students to interact, learn and showcase their work. Learn more.

2019: Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Consortium

For community-building around and dissemination of the Vertically Integrated Projects model, a scalable, cost-effective approach to undergraduate research adopted by 35 colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more.

2018: Formula Hybrid Competition, founded by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

For national leadership and impact in uniquely challenging students in ABET-accredited programs to collaborate across disciplines to provide innovative design experiences and build fuel-efficient, high-performance hybrid vehicles. Learn more.

2017: Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering, Minnesota State University, Mankato

For educating their students in innovative ABET-accredited programs that feature trans-disciplinary thinking, industry-sponsored project-based learning, experiential learning in context, competency-based assessments and significant exposure to professionalism, design and creativity. Learn more.

2016: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) – Robotics Engineering Program

For developing and implementing the first ABET-accredited undergraduate Robotics Engineering program in the United States. The program incorporates an innovative, project-based curriculum that integrates computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship. It is producing large numbers of successful graduates, while serving as a model for Robotics Engineering programs at other institutions. Learn more.