Asee peer logo

A Need For Developing Continuous Improvement Plans For Capstone Project Management – Both Students And Faculty Will Benefit

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.63.1 - 10.63.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Steven Northrup

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Need for Developing Continuous Improvement Plans for Capstone Project Management – Both Students and Faculty will Benefit Steven G. Northrup Western New England College


One of the most important shifts in engineering education, brought about by the adoption of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology’s (ABET’s ) Engineering Criteria 2000, is the framework of continuous improvement. Department-level self-evaluation narratives address using feedback to monitor and improve the education process and thereby improve the students’ learning outcomes. Using this continuous feedback loop to improve the educational processes of a department is a great first step. The process of continuous improvement can, and should, be taken much further. Each faculty member of the department should use the process to improve their own skills as an educator. ABET’s criterion 5 states that the “faculty must develop and implement processes for the evaluation, assessment, and continuing improvement of the program, its educational objectives and outcomes.” It is implicit in this statement that faculty members should take the next step and develop their own continuous improvement plans. Often this is more the exception than the rule. This paper presents the educational benefits of continuous improvement plans and uses Capstone project management as an example of how such a plan may be implemented. The following two questions are addressed: 1) How can faculty members develop their own continuous improvement plan to enhance their Capstone project management skills? and 2) How can faculty teach students to develop and utilize continuous improvement plans throughout a Capstone design project?


Prior to the adoption of ABET’s EC 2000 accreditation criteria, engineering programs were required to show that they were providing the proper curricula to their students. That is, to maintain status as an ABET accredited program, the program had to simply demonstrate that they were delivering the courses needed to provide the proper subject matter to the students. As long as the program presented the information, they could be accredited. It was not necessary to show that the students actually learned the material.

Under the EC 2000 requirements, the focus has shifted dramatically from the just show us what you’re teaching paradigm. The 2004-2005 Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs requires processes to measure how well the students learn, processes to determine whether the alumni of the program have met expectations, and processes to use feedback to improve that quality of engineering education.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Northrup, S. (2005, June), A Need For Developing Continuous Improvement Plans For Capstone Project Management – Both Students And Faculty Will Benefit Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14448

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015