Project-based educational environment that focuses on real-world problems and crosssector
collaboration instills students’ learning pathways with the proficiency to move from
the domain-specific to the domain-general knowledge. We conceptualize a project-based
curriculum model as central to undergraduate education. Focusing on iterative design and
development during each year of the undergraduate degree allows for further enrichment
of the undergraduate curriculum. We present a case study of a project-based model in
action within Virginia Tech, a large public polytechnic university in the United States.
Working with seventy-five industry partners serving as project mentors and twenty-seven
transdisciplinary faculty, we discuss methodology key to ensure student learning and
project outcomes within this model, including embedding industry partners within project
teams, developing transdisciplinary project teams, and encouraging just-in-time
implementation of disciplinary knowledge.