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A Continuous Improvement Model to Enhance Academic Quality in Engineering Programs

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Assessment and Accreditation: Making the Grade!

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Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


J. Asuncion Zarate-Garcia Tecnologico de Monterrey

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J. Asuncion Zarate-Garcia received a B.S and a M. E. in Mechanical Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey and a Ph. D in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University.

He is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Mechatronics Department of the School of Engineering and Sciences of Tecnologico de Monterrey in Puebla, Mexico, where he teaches Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. He also serves as the Director of Division of the School of Engineering and Sciences of Tecnologico de Monterrey in Puebla. His areas of interest are the analysis, design and optimization of thermal systems and the efficient and optimum use of energy in buildings. He has published some articles in the numerical simulation of single phase heated turbulent flow and two-phase turbulent boiling flow.

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Ariadna Serrano-Reyes Tecnologico de Monterrey

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Ariadna Serrano was born in Puebla and obtained a B.A. in International Business and Masters Degree in Industrial Development and Innovation. She has been the coordinator for national and international accreditations processes of Engineering Academic Programs in the last five years.

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Miguel X. Rodriguez-Paz Tecnologico de Monterrey Orcid 16x16

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Prof. Rodríguez-Paz got his B.Sc. In Civil Engineering from Tecnologico de Oaxaca in 1993. He studied a M.Sc. In Structural Engineering at Tecnologico de Monterrey and got his Ph.D. from the University of Wales at Swansea in 2003 where he did research on Numerical Methods for Fluid Dynamics as a post-doc Research Officer. In August 2004 he joined Tecnologico de Monterrey at its Puebla Campus. He is a full professor of Applied Mechanics since 2009. His research topics include Engineering Education, Structural Dynamics and Applied Mechanics. He has been a member of the National System of Researchers (SNI) in the Mexican Council of Science and Technology. He has held several position within the School of Engineering, including Head of School and his current post as head of the department of Sustainable Technologies and Civil Engineering. He enjoys teaching Engineering in a fun way and likes to learn about Flipped Learning and Open Education. Since 2010 he is an Academic/educatational Youtuber.

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Israel Zamora-Hernandez

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Israel Zamora-Hernández has a B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering from the Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico. He has a M.Sc. in Digital Systems from Tecnologico de Monterrey. He has been a lecturer in the School of Engineering for over 18 years. His work especializes in attracting new students to STEM programs at University level. He has directed several teams in the Admissions Office at Tecnologico de Monterrey.

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One of the main challenges in all areas of education is to ensure that the academic quality of the teaching – learning process is enhanced continuously. In this work, we present a continuous improvement process based on Deming´s Plan-Do-Check-Act (also known as PDCA) continuous quality improvement model. This model encompasses a one-year cycle, it starts in August and ends in July, in which faculty of the engineering departments participate in the evaluation and collection of evidences of the level of achievement of student´s competences at some specific courses of the academic program curricula every semester. A minimum level of achievement is established by the head of the department which is used as a reference to compare the results obtained at the end of the semester to define whether or not the students accomplished the minimum expected individual level of competence achievement. These results are uploaded into an Administration System for Academic Program Evaluation (SAEP) in which statistics are calculated for all students in a given class. SAEP is an institutional system designed to evaluate student competences defined for all academic programs offered by the university. The faculty must reflect on the results of their classes to identify good practices that must be maintained and areas of opportunity in which he or she must work to improve the results for the following semester. As a result, improvement actions are defined and uploaded into SAEP each semester. At the end of the two-semester cycle a meeting with all faculty of the department is held in which the results of the cycle are presented and discussed. The outcome of the meeting is a list of good practices shared by the faculty and a list of actions for improvement that will be conducted the following cycle. Also, the need for technological or laboratory infrastructure are identified. In addition, a meeting is held with the industry advisory board and employers to present them the results and to ask them for feedback and suggestions to obtain better results the following cycle. This continuous improvement cycle has been highly valuable in national and international accreditation processes of academic engineering programs.

This work provides a framework for universities in regions where accreditation programs are starting and can help the institutions prepare for international accreditation processes such as those demanded by ABET.

Zarate-Garcia, J. A., & Serrano-Reyes, A., & Rodriguez-Paz, M. X., & Zamora-Hernandez, I. (2020, June), A Continuous Improvement Model to Enhance Academic Quality in Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33988

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