Certification Blog

Certification Overview

Faculty perspective on Academic Equivalency: Beth Wilson, ESEP

Sep 10, 2022
Mrunmayi Joshi

Here is an interview with Beth Wilson of Worcester Polytechnic Institute which talks about her experience and perspective as a faculty of the academic equivalency program. Happy SEPtember! 

 Beth Wilson

This interview was done in 2022.

Q1. What is your role related to INCOSE’s Academic Equivalency?

» I am a course instructor for Academic Equivalency program of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Q2. What is one of your proudest professional achievements?
» When I retired from my corporate role as a systems engineer, I reported that I had 3 career highlights:
1) Personal -- when I became a principal engineering fellow.
2) Technical Contribution -- the day my team successfully activated the radar we had installed and integrated when I was the Test Director at the site.
3) Next Generation -- sitting on the stage for the Master of Science in Systems Engineering commencement ceremony when a cohort I taught graduated.

Q3. What skills do you think a systems engineer should develop during their education?

» A systems engineer needs to learn that there are effective systems engineering processes, methods, and tools to enable effective system design. A systems engineer needs to understand all aspects of the system lifecycle and design disciplines in order to know when to engage subject matter experts and how to effectively engage them.

Q4. What was your university’s motivation behind joining the academic equivalency program?

» We are very supportive of the certification program and feel that our Principles of Systems Engineering class is an effective way for students to learn the knowledge in the INCOSE SE handbook.

Q5.What do you see as the benefits of the academic equivalency program for a university and a student?» For our systems engineering students, it removes a barrier to certification because they can pursue an ASEP immediately and a CSEP when they have systems engineering experience. For our other engineering students that take our class as an elective, they can pursue an ASEP to declare "I speak SE" to show that they understand the systems engineering process and know how to interact with systems engineers.
Q6. What methods do you use to teach SE courses effectively?

» We use individual quizzes as knowledge checks for the systems engineering content we deliver. We also use team projects to explore topics in more depth and apply the techniques we teach.

Q7. How do your SE courses help students to deepen their understanding of systems engineering?

» At WPI, we use a strategy of putting theory into practice. We provide content that describes what systems engineering is and why it is important. We provide assessment opportunities to apply that knowledge.

Q8. How do your SE courses differ from those at other universities?

» In talking with other universities, I think our courses are similar in the content that is provided. I think what is unique about our offering is the application of concepts, the emphasis on systems thinking, and the use of real-world examples.

Q9. What is your advice for universities or institutes considering applying for academic equivalency?

» If you have an introduction to systems engineering course, perform a gap analysis to the learning objectives to see where you stand. You may be closer than you think. Our university made some minor changes only to include content that was in other courses in the master's program in the introductory course so that we could satisfy the academic equivalency with one course.

Know more about Academic Equivalency from here.

images of ASEP, CSEP, and ESEP badges
Contact Us