Olin was one of the first engineering colleges in the country to develop a series of progressive courses – called the Design Stream - knowing that the true goal of engineering is to make people’s lives better. From improving the life of the elderly in a nearby senior living community to building new technology in far away developing countries, students connect their engineering education to the reality of making a difference in the world.
A fundamental part of Olin’s philosophy is that learning is taken out of the realm of academic theory only and put in the context of real-world applications. Students tackle actual engineering challenges in a manner very similar to the global teams assembled by today’s leading companies. This hands-on approach enables them to learn the reality of what it’s like to work within financial or other resource constraints, and how innovative thinking is required to solve real-world problems.
Our innovative educational approach is aimed at changing how students learn engineering; if something doesn’t work, students and faculty revise the model until it does. Students are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, persevere, and succeed in applying new concepts. Olin’s extraordinary faculty–who invented the Olin curriculum and culture–are constantly conducting pedagogical research. They share a devotion to continued experimentation in and improvement of engineering education.
Olin is a small school that is making a large difference—on both a local and global scale. We are attracting the country’s top faculty and students. Our student body is gender balanced and has one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Students are entering the country’s top graduate schools, being offered generous scholarships, are actively pursued by employers, or starting their own businesses right out of college. We’ve also appeared and risen on almost all of the top educational rankings. Not only are we graduating innovators, but we are also focused on helping to transform engineering education.
As the world’s only engineering lab school, Olin is committed to collaborating with others to make the changes necessary to attract, retain and graduate engineers with the right mind- and skill-set. Olin’s Collaboratory was founded (originally as the Institute for Innovation in Engineering Education, I2E2) to co-design educational transformation with other colleges and universities. The effort is taking hold, and thousands are visiting Olin, attending workshops, seeking immersion experiences and intensely working to bring about innovation in their learning environments.