June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.136.1 - 14.136.16
A 2-year Common Template for Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology
A new educational paradigm was recently proposed by the authors that effectively places Engineering and Engineering Technology programs within the Conceive, Design, Implement, and Operate (CDIOTM http://www.cdio.org/) professional engineering spectrum. The new model advocates that a TAC/ABET accredited, 4-year B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) is a logical, viable, and in fact a key component in the student’s path to entering the engineering profession and in earning Mechanical Engineering (ME) degrees. If the model is adopted, it is envisioned that a new first professional engineering degree can be constructed whereby: (1) All engineering-bound students would first complete 2 years of an MET program; (2) With proper advising and mentoring, those students interested and skilled to follow the more Conceive-Design side of engineering would transfer to a Department, College or School of Engineering and complete an ME degree in 2, 3 or 4 additional years; if 4 years, then the Department of Education definition of a first professional degree would be satisfied; and (3) Those students interested and skilled to follow the more applied Implement-Operate side of engineering would opt to complete the BS-MET degree in 2 additional years. Several benefits include: (1) Enrollment increase in ME and in MET as a result of proper advising and mentoring in the early stages of the student’s university experience; (2) Retention rate increase at the upper level of both ME and MET; (3) Avoidance of duplication efforts and resource expenses for staffing, equipping and maintaining laboratories needed in the first 2 years; and (4) ME departments can better focus on advanced/graduate level education with better utilization of professorial staff.
This article examines a 2-year common curriculum template for ME and MET programs based on CDIO, and summarizes preliminary assessment results of the proposed educational model collected from industry participants. The template assumes a full-time course of study in 4 semesters after which the student selects to either complete a BS in Engineering Technology in 2 additional years, or transfer to an ME degree plan which may be 2-, 3-, or 4-years long. Both plans are assumed to be constructed so as to be ABET Accredited by the appropriate Commission. An Electrical/Computer Engineering and Electrical/Computer ET 2-year curriculum template is being presented in a separate article at this conference. A summary of these works is also presented to the Engineering Technology Division as a separate article in this conference. The templates are offered as a starting point to encourage further discussion.
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