Graduate students can now align their work with ASU design aspirations

In spring 2021, graduate students in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering were asked to share how their research aligned with ASU’s eight design aspirations in the Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS) as part of a pilot project launched by the Graduate College. The goal was to get a better idea of how graduate student research supports the institutional objectives of excellence, access and impact.

The new Design Aspirations feature allows students going through the format process to identify which of the design aspirations their research fulfilled. Students can also add a description of how their research applied to each one of the aspirations, as well as choose the one that applied most directly to their research.

During the spring pilot, more than 200 engineering graduate students used the new Design Aspirations feature to identify their research with specific design aspirations. The most popular selection was “Conduct Use-Inspired Research” followed closely by “Transform Society” and “Fuse Intellectual Disciplines.” Some of the “Use-Inspired Research” conducted was related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and included topics related to contact tracing and daily health checks.

The new Design Aspirations feature will be available to all graduate students completing a thesis or dissertation in fall 2021. Their self-selected responses will show future students ASU’s commitment to its evolution as a New American University.