As with all project-based learning programs, a guiding principle for the IRE model is student responsibility for their learning. At the beginning of each project cycle, students identify which outcomes will be addressed during the project. Working with faculty, students determine which learning modes will be applied and determine what types of evidence they will need to acquire to demonstrate outcome attainment by the end of the project cycle. Each project cycle concludes with the presentation of two reports - a design report for the deliverable and a learning report that reflects on the learning process and provides evidence of outcome attainment. In addition to written reports, there is a student presentation made to faculty and external clients. The final presentation includes an extensive oral exam session in which students demonstrate their understanding of technical engineering knowledge gained and competencies acquired. At the conclusion of each project cycle, students have a new view of their levels of knowledge and competencies.
Each week, all students at IRE take part in professional development classes helping them to better prepare for the workplace. Professionalism is then directly applied to the student's projects and helps to increase their working relationship with industry partners. The combination of project-based learning and professional development is a critical aspect of all graduating IRE students.