EPIC Scholars Program

The EPIC Scholars Program will develop a diverse network of engineering and computer science leaders who advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in the engineering and computer science professions.

About

The Engineering Positive and Intentional Change (EPIC) Scholars Program is an intentional, small, cohort-based Honors program for engineering and computer science students.

EPIC aims to recruit, engage, retain, and graduate a diverse group of engineering and computer science students with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and to being leaders, advocates, and agents of positive and intentional change in service to their chosen profession, to their community, and to society. The program encapsulates the following elements:

Recruitment and Admissions

The recruitment and admissions process will be holistic with a cohort of approximately 25 students per year.

Common Book

A common book will be integrated into EPIC courses and other programming each year. The common books will be selected by a faculty oversight committee and may be of general interest/application or specific to a focused theme for a given year.

Seminar Series

EPIC Scholars will engage with invited speakers, from within and outside the UA community, with local, national, and global perspectives.

Peer Mentoring

Juniors and seniors in the program will mentor and support freshmen and sophomores, including introducing them to others on campus and connecting them to partners within the broader local and regional communities.

Living-Learning Community

All freshman in the program will be required to live in Paty Hall as part of an EPIC Living-Learning Community (LLC). Some EPIC Scholars will be recruited to serve as live-in leaders, or Resident Advisors, for the EPIC LLC. Paty Hall also has a faculty-in-residence apartment, which may be used by a faculty member engaged in the EPIC Scholars Program.

Retention and Academic Support

Since the EPIC Scholars Program is an Honors Program, it is critical that EPIC Scholars maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. Paty Hall will not only be the home of the EPIC LLC; it is the home to the College of Engineering Living-Learning Community. Therefore, in addition to unique support programs through the EPIC Program, EPIC Scholars will also have full access to the myriad of support and social programing available through the Engineering LLC.

Community Engagement

A key element in the EPIC Scholars program is strong, focused community engagement and service programs. These programs will connect EPIC Scholars with others from across the UA campus who are actively engaged in the community, including the Student Community Engagement Center and the Center for Service and Leadership.

decorative background image

Goals

Upon completion of the EPIC Scholars Program, students will demonstrate their ability to:

decorative background image

Progression and Recognition

The following progression and recognition programs are designed to acknowledge achievement, mark advancement through the program, and engage alumni and others:

EPIC Apprentice

Freshman or sophomore students in the program are mentored by juniors and seniors. Freshmen will be welcomed in the program as EPIC Apprentices each fall. Freshmen and sophomores will be recognized for their accomplishments during Honors Week each spring.

EPIC Scholar

Junior or senior students in the program mentor EPIC Apprentices and are mentored by graduates of the program. Juniors will be recognized as new EPIC Scholars each fall, and juniors will also be recognized for their accomplishments during Honors Week each spring.

EPIC Fellow

Graduates of the program mentor EPIC Scholars and are champions for positive and intentional change. Graduating Seniors will be recognized for their accomplishments and inducted as an EPIC Fellow during Honors Week each spring.

Distinguished EPIC Fellow

Graduates of the program will be recognized advocates and agents of positive and intentional change. New Distinguished EPIC Fellows will be recognized during Honors Week each spring.

Honorary EPIC Fellow– Individuals who do not graduate from the program but are recognized advocates and agents of positive and intentional change are given an honorary status. New Honorary EPIC Fellows will be recognized during Honors Week each spring.

curriculum

EPIC Apprentice

(Freshman and Sophomore Years)

Freshman Year (2 credit hours)
EPIC 101 EPIC Freshman Seminar I (1 credit hour)

This first course provides the opportunity to form an identify as an EPIC Scholar and connect with other EPIC Scholars. Students are introduced to new ideas and different viewpoints through respectful and inclusive discussions and explore how engineering and computer science relates to complex societal issues of our times. Prerequisite: Admission into the EPIC Scholars Program

EPIC 102 EPIC Freshman Seminar II (1 credit hour)

This course continues the discussions from EPIC 101, focusing on the students further developing their identity as an EPIC Scholar, exploring their self-perception, identifying their own inherent biases and how such biases can limit their scope of impact as future engineers and computer scientists. Prerequisite: EPIC 101.

Freshman Year Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Define one’s own self and one’s personal history and value system.
  • Explain key elements of respectful and inclusive environments.
  • Describe current social issues at the local, national, and global level that need to be addressed.
Sophomore Year (5 credit hours)
EPIC 201 EPIC Sophomore Seminar I (1 credit hour)

Students practice being part of a larger community of engaged scholars, including focus on how to promote positive and intentional change. Students will gain experience collaborating as a transdisciplinary team and develop of a set of team norms assuring greater levels of respect and inclusion. Prerequisite: EPIC 102.

EPIC 202 EPIC Sophomore Seminar II (1 credit hour)

Students investigate a wide variety of complex, transdisciplinary social issues and explore how such issues can have longitudinal and disproportionate impacts on society or sectors of society, including within the context of the engineering and computer science professions. Prerequisite: EPIC 201.

UH 205 Social Foundations of Community Engagement (3 credit hours, HU)

As a “prelude” to service learning, students will understand the philosophical structure of “public goods” (e.g., education, health care, housing) and how they relate to specific needs in public spaces which are used for the betterment of communities. Students will explore the possible causes of political, educational, social, and economic inequalities as well as the benefits, responsibilities and limits of the service response to public problems. The course provides a basic understanding of what the purpose of “public goods” are and how society actualizes these currencies. Prerequisites: EPIC 201 and EPIC 202 with concurrency, or UH 200 with concurrency.

Sophomore Year Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Determine how one’s world view may be biased by one’s own history and value system.
  • Apply key elements of respect and inclusion within a small team environment.
  • Explore how social issues can have longitudinal impacts, both positive and negative.

EPIC Scholar

(Junior and Senior Years)

Junior Year (2 credit hours)
EPIC 301 EPIC Junior Seminar I (1 credit hour)

Students examine moral, legal, and ethical issues related to respect, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, including those specifically associated with the engineering and computer science professions. Prerequisite: EPIC 202.

EPIC 302 EPIC Junior Seminar II (1 credit hour)

Through case studies and design exercises, students explore how the engineering design process may be affected if engineers and computer scientists lack an understanding and representation of the full diversity of society.

Prerequisite: EPIC 301.

Junior Year Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate respect for world views that differ from one’s own.
  • Illustrate the impacts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (or lack thereof) on problem recognition, definition, and solving.
  • Examine potential impacts of different solutions to complex social issues.
Senior Year (3 credit hours)
EPIC 401 EPIC Honors Senior Thesis I (1.5 credit hour)

Students propose and initiate a team-based, transdisciplinary senior thesis project that will include soliciting a diversity of perspectives, promoting a culture of respect, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, and sustainable and ethical solutions to complex social issues. Prerequisite: EPIC 302.

EPIC 402 EPIC Honors Senior Thesis II (1.5 credit hour)

Students complete and present the results of a team-based, transdisciplinary senior thesis project that includes integration of a diversity of perspectives, promotion of a culture of respect, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, and advocacy of sustainable and ethical solutions to complex social issues. Prerequisite: EPIC 401 with concurrency.

Senior Year (Program) Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Seek and value a diversity of perspectives.
  • Value and promote a culture of respect, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Advocate for sustainable and ethical solutions to complex social issues.

Approved Electives

(9 credit hours)

See advisor for list of approved electives. No more than 6 credit hours of electives may be at the 200-level.

-    The University of Alabama     |     The College of Engineering    -

Social Media