Illinois State University

College of Engineering Curriculum Development and Strategy


Illinois State University wanted to develop a new, revolutionary College of Engineering including a new department, degree-conferring curriculum, and facilities. The main question to answer: what skills would a 22nd-century engineer need to excel?

Vantage guided the institution through a series of visioning and planning processes looking at technology as a new force for change and institutional advancement.
Areas of inquiry included:

  • How will students and gain competency with the technological tools necessary to succeed?
  • How can technology be leveraged as a force for good, improving institutional goals like outreach, engagement, and student support?
  • How can a new engineering school leapfrog over the institutional inertia of more traditional engineering programs, and then continue to grow with the pace of technological innovation?

Using Vantage-led research and data, we were able to benchmark ISU’s intended program with established engineering curricula. With the freedom of starting from scratch, Vantage provided a lens on the digital scholarship of the future to develop a program around the skills that engineers will need to succeed without being frustrated by outdated course curriculum. Vantage recognized how collaboration, entrepreneurship, research, critical problem solving, and leadership skills would increase a student’s ability to become a professional, regardless of specific engineering skills.

Logistical questions were also addressed: how do you build the space, how will it be maintained, how do you operate the building, what staff and faculty are needed, how will you fund it (and what funding represents a capital investment vs. a regular operational expenditure)?

Through workshops with college stakeholders and academic developers, Vantage and the team established a roadmap to chart out specific goals and a timeline to launch a new College of Engineering.


  • Strategic Planning
  • Facilitated Workshops and Visioning Sessions
  • Organizational Development
  • Curriculum Development
  • Peer Benchmarking
  • Master Planning
  • Building Feasibility Study
  • Building Conceptual Design
  • Client: Illinois State University
  • Location: Normal, IL
  • Market: Education
  • Project: College of Engineering Curriculum Development and Strategy