John, sounds like your class is just what is called for in terms of bringing a more practical approach to a modern engineering education. I hear over and over again from Design News engineering readers and the vendor community about how systems engineering principles are more important than ever. While it's obviously far from a new concept or discipline, it does appear organizations are still stymied by trying to collaborate between the separate disciplines of mechnical, electrical, and software. Perhaps arming the next-generation of engineers with hands-on experience and in-the-trenches best practices for cross-disciplineary work will finally remove the barriers to early collaboration and foster less iteration in design cycles.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.